Democrats & Liberals Archives

Rush Limbaugh: Failure At Any Cost

Pessimism from the right about any government intervention into the economy is just to be expected these days. Rush Limbaugh is not satisfied with pessimism, he’s expecting his listeners to join with him in politically motivated economic sabotage.

There are a couple alternatives to this. The first is continued bailouts until the free market recovers of its own accord, costing Americans billions more. The second is the refusal of all additional aid, which means GM collapses and goes Chapter 7, with additional ripple effects.

These are the fruits of years of both parties helping GM to defy the needs of Americans in the marketplace The problem of coddling the automakers is neither conservative nor liberal, but one whose difficulty is founded on the notion that helping the economy means doing what benefits a bottom line in the short term.

So what did we do for Business's sake? We loosened laws that protected consumers and debtors. We loosened regulations that prevented predatory lending and credit offers. We wrote regulations that allowed people to trade derivatives without being required to count the costs or the risks. We re-wrote accounting regulations to allow more elaborate, less candid financial portraits of companies to be painted, making it easier to hide the truth from the market.

And we let companies procrastinate and outright escape from environmental and energy policy constraints.

So what happens? Does the market reward this freedom? No. Anybody could have seen it coming, but it wasn't in anybody's immediate interest to do something about it. Then gas prices and an economic meltdown combined to turn the automaker's finances into a train wreck.

The Republican propaganda essentially says this: Democrats want to hurt business. Results have turned that formulation around on itself: As much as Republicans wanted to help business, their policies helped create the unnatural economic collapse we are in right now.

We have to distinguish between profitable behavior and productive, the status quo, and what can be sustained. The differences can be considerable.

The problem isn't necessary that folks are incapable of behaving rationally. Rather, people never operate completely rationally, and rationality itself doesn't always lead to moral or beneficial outcomes. The world is complex, and so are people, so when folks actually behave rationally, they may simply be behaving rationally, accounting for the environment around them and the system they have to deal with in their daily lives.

Some folks assume that the market rewards good behavior and punishes bad, and that if you just left things to themselves, the major dilemmas and problems would resolve themselves of their own accord, as people made choices and learned from what other people did. Trouble is this doesn't take account of the fact that some behavior, while locally rational, are globally irrational. There's even a term that relates to this reality: the Tragedy of the Commons. But that's only one part of things. People can get greedy about owning one small part of something, like patent trolls who snap up their intellectual property in hopes of suing somebody to get money for work they themselves never did. One can call this the tragedy of the anti-commons.

We don't need the government involved in the economy because we're too stupid to run it right and we need the supergenius Feds to avoid mistakes. We need government because rationality and intelligence on the part of the average citizen does not guarantee the prevention of absurd, immoral, or dangerous outcomes in the real world.

Too many modern economic thinkers do not anticipate the effects of individual free will and locallized self interest as much as they would like to think they do, and thus do not let themselves admit the truth: that sometimes self-interest needs law to blunt it or turn it aside, that while people may be smart enough to see to their own interests, not all ways in which people would see to their own interests, especially as an overall population, would come to good ends.

We have to think on more than one level as to what the good of the country and the good of the economy is, not simply assume that higher profits mean healthier economies. It matters what you're profiting for. Some rational actors in the economy saw the opportunities in creating a system where people's debts were sold off for the profit of the companies providing them credit. This was perfectly rational as long as people were willing to buy that debt, and as long as you weren't the people being permanently indebted to feed this. But then desperation has a rationality all its own.

People are adaptable, and clever, and that is not always a good thing. The market encourages whatever gains people the most, and nowadays, many people only address the long term when disaster hits. And then people forget all over again. There's always risk in an economy, but there are some risks one doesn't have to learn are bad again and again. Unfortunately, there are many risks that get taken all over again when the pressure is off.

We have to define what kind of rational responses are acceptable, and watch against the repeated rise of irrational impulse's ugly head. Sometimes, people just can't help themselves.

Socialism has some overall problems. Nobody knows enough overall to be able to tell people how to run an economy. It's such a multi-dimensional system, that it really doesn't work all that well to try and micromanage it.

But there are times when a government must intervene, to cut off natural and unnatural economic disasters at the pass. The alternative, however satisfactory to those who insist all lessons of the market must be taught assiduously, leaves us open to devastating secondary consequences, consequences that aren't so much lessons as undeserving disasters inflicted on the American economy.

I've personally lived through several of these craterings, and it doesn't seem to me that folks on Wall Street, or in Corporate America are learning their lessons in enough numbers that we don't see these massive collapses. That is not to say that most corporate folks are greedy psychopaths. Most aren't. They probably aren't all angels, and shouldn't have to be, but then, our laws require people to make money for the corporations they run, and it gets very difficult to tell these people that they can't go out there and do what others do to make a profit.

Fact of the matter is, we all end up learning a certain degree of gray-area behavior, stuff that is not necessarily admirable, but seemingly necessary to take care of our interests. Or we accept sacrifices of economic stability to do what it takes to make ends meet, or to help those we love. Medical costs, for oneself and one's family, are responsible for many, if not most bankruptcies in this country. People snidely talk about the excesses of society in terms of credit and debt, acting like it's all just people going on spending sprees and greedily grabbing for things they shouldn't have. Though some of that doesn't happen, There's a lot more moral complexity and rational thinking going on than the critics are really taking into account.

A lot of it, unfortunately, the product of the other policies that the moral guardians of the economy pushed. Credit wouldn't be extended and overcharging on different items wouldn't be done if it weren't for policies that let too much easy credit flow, the market's sensitivity dulled by the dishonestly run market for debt.

Oh, it's a clever scheme, and a lot of money was made with it. While we talk about GM, we should recall that the car company, amazingly enough, wasn't the profitable branch. It was the bank that financed the road-faring cargo vessels we call SUVs, that enabled the average person to afford such behemoths. It worked, as long as there was demand for the big, expensive vehicles, whose debts could then be sold off on the market, like all the others.

Unfortunately, somebody screwed up, pushed things too hard in one particular industry, and caused a financial chain reaction that hit strong businesses and weak businesses alike.

Up until that point, though, it was perfectly rational, what the market wanted. Only after the market imploded was it discovered that this was a lousy way to do business. There was a mutual dependence at work, throughout our economy, that gradually grew one sided in who it benefited.

And now that system is broken. Rush not only says "let the peaces fall", but has indeed set out to attack somebody willing to do what Rush and his favorites in the political world were unwilling to do, out of political predisposition. We ran things much like he wanted for so long. He got the opportunity with Bush to get people in charge who agreed with him unreservedly, and he returned the favor.

And they screwed up. And now, irrespective of the anger and impatience that the average American feels against the Republicans, Rush wants to torpedo efforts to save the economy, because he considers them politically incorrect.

Or maybe something else is at work: maybe he's afraid that if things go as plan even on a temporary basis, the public will have little use for his party.

Could be both. But the trick is, he's not waiting for Obama's methods to collapse under the weight of their error. In fact, he's sort of conceding that they could work. But after having pushed Bush policies for years that simply failed to work, his concern is not doing what it takes to help the economy recover. His aim, instead, is to help the party recover that got us into this mess, the clean up of that mess be damned.

For all their resistance across the board, the Republicans have not led through the offer of palatable alternatives, nor have they been willing to follow the Democrats they bashed for so long as they dreamed of permanent majority. As for getting out of the way? No. They haven't seen fit to do that. Obstruction is the name of the game. It used to be the conventional wisdom that most votes in the Senate were decided by the majority. Now, because of the near constant filibuster threats, it takes sixty votes. Though Democrats are about to get the final votes to make this happen, the question ought to be asked: Has it occured to the Republicans that there's a reason why the stalemate that formerly existed has evolved into a sixty seat majority? The Republicans literally have broken records in the course of their obstruction, not merely filibustering a few bills and appointees, but nearly every bit of major legislation that the Democrats have put forward. Where once they threatened the Nuclear option in revoking the privilege of filibustering, they now practice the scorched earth option in opposing Democratic Party Legislation.

The question of whether or not they feel this is justified, rational is irrelevant. Most people think that as they do all the different kinds of things they do.

The question that you the voters, you the Democrats, you the independents, and yes, you the Republicans out there must consider is how much longer we can tolerate this kind of destructive indulgence of over-narrow self interest. When do we start taking care of problems, instead of adding to them?

Rush Limbaugh is willing to make the situation with GM worse just to put off that day when a Liberal government, running things the way it does, nonetheless succeeds. If he weren't worried about this, all he'd need to do is play the doomsayer, right or wrong, and wait us out. But he's confident that it just might work, so sabotage is his intent.

Meanwhile, folks like Obama are doing their level best to make sure that GM doesn't become a perpetual subsidiary of the US government, accepting one bailout after another. That, or it collapsing and taking a Domestic industry with it. The truth of the matter is, the government allowed the Car Companies to get too big in the first place, resulting in a situation where the big three were "too big to fail", where they could be assured of massive market share on company size alone. But as tough economic times hit, and their money supply runs low, they indeed become able to fail, and take a good size chunk of the economy with them.

The Republicans, whatever their colleagues in the Democrat Party did, most decidedly, visibly, advocated for what they call the free market. I don't make that qualification lightly- I think conservatives misunderstand the term nowadays, having only heard it from politicians who weren't upholding a new deal economy against a Soviet Regime for the better part of several decades.

My sense has been that it is the failure of the markets that gives greatest life to socialism and communism, greatest warmth to their promises of a successful fight of the disadvantaged against the rich. The irony is, in their zeal to crackdown on what they see as Class Warfare, they build iniquity into the system that's bound to convince people that class warfare is exactly what's going on, and that if they don't take greater control of the economy, they'll be the losers in the fight.

FDR's new deal helped head this off at the pass, helped take the wind out of the socialists' and communists' sails. When the interests of the few can coexist with those of the many, people don't question those who gather their treasure and their rosebuds while they may.

But that's changed. The Republicans succeeded in exposing people to more of the risk, more of the costs, more of the externalities. They may argue that this is just good for them, but this is people's lives, and most don't take a philosophical long view about ot it that justifies it as being what they deserve or what they need to be truly strong.

The message Republicans are trying to send, it seems, is not only have they not learned their lesson, they don't even want to learn their lesson. They want to continue to force their beliefs on the rest of America, even after America has strongly rejected them, strongly rejected those who bear witness to them. They have lost ground in virtually every group that is rising in prominence in America, yet have taken this as a cue to double down on failed policy directions, and stifle the very agenda that was so overwhelmingly mandated by the election.

Rush Limbaugh is leading his party to become the exact thing they've been accusing the Democrats of being for so long: a politically radical group willing to undermine the strength of the economy to satisfy ideological dogmas. Only, they will not see this themselves. They will see themselves as the saviors of America's prosperity. But like with so many things in the past decade and before, they will allow themselves to make things worse for America because they reason that what they are doing, though harmful now, will yield dividends later.

Both parties have had the chance to push policies that had risks for economic growth attached. Only difference is, where the Democrat's experiments with the economy yielded success under their long tenure, the Republican's experiment over the last thirty years has been a disaster for most Americans.

It's understandable that the Republicans, after being in charge for so long, will not take their sidelining so lightly. But their actions, if we did not make the obvious assumption that the party has its own best interests at heart, wouild seem to indicate that they wanted to be more forcefully ejected from the political mainstream, to drain even more patience from the average American, and lead Americans to to remove even more of their folks from office in their anger.

If winning was everything, I would cheer this development on, but I fear that the result of the Republican's imposed paralysis and economic gridlock will make a hollow triumph of any such victory.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at June 11, 2009 7:26 PM
Comments
Comment #282808

Stephen,

First of all, your facts are wrong. Limbaugh hasn’t/didn’t call for any sort of boycott of GM. Which kind of makes your intro fail the fact test. I listen to the show and he never said that. TPM is not a reliable source.

Maybe Hugh Hewitt did call for a boycott, I don’t know. But TPM has taken things out of context before, so not having heard Hewitt I can’t say.

You could have gone to Hewitt’s website and see? Or here.

Apparently Hugh said he would not buy a GM car in the future. Is that the same thing as calling for a boycott?

MSNBC’s hapless Ed Schultz accused me of “hating” President Obama on his Tuesday’s show because I have announced that I will not buy a GM or a Chrysler car. (Since 2001 I have purchased two GMs —a Saab and a Trailblazer.) My reasoning is explained in this WashingtonExaminer.com column and this Townhall.com column. Briefly put: The socialization of GM severely disadvantages Ford, Toyota and other auto workers while undermining basic, bedrock principles of free enterprise, and I will not endorse the deal with my dollars and don’t think any other car buyer should either. In Ed’s rather fevered world this means I “hate” President Obama. In fact I supported the first GM/Chrysler bailout and would have been happy to see the feds support the two companies with loan guarantees or other assistance that would not have resulted in government ownership of the company.

But I won’t support a government-owned car company that tilts the competitive field against every other car maker, and the feds now own and control GM, and the new Government Motors has a $65 to $75 billion dollar advantage over the shareholders, bondholders and workers at every other car company in the country.

Posted by: eric at June 11, 2009 8:54 PM
Comment #282812

He’s praising it. He’s justifying it. He’s selling the crazy. He says he doesn’t want GM to fail, but then, if you look at the fact that unless GM successfully enters and exits this bankruptcy that it’s not going to be a going concern, you will see that such a claim is nothing better than spin.

You can talk about bedrock principles, but nobody said they want GM permanently there. This is putting GM into the shop so that sometime in the near future, you can get it back out again, a fully private company.

That, as opposed to wasting, continuously, with no end in sight, billions of taxpayer dollars to socialize GM’s losses.

Oh, and as for TPM not being a reliable source, They link right directly to Limbaugh and quote him directly on the matter. These guys get the stories right, unlike some.

He is defending a politicized sabotage of part of the economic recovery, pretending that Obama’s trying to make GM into a permanently government run enterprise.

Context, context. Rush has made his current show all about actively advocating for Obama’s failure. Not letting him fail, but forcing that failure.

Limbaugh is giving the seal of approval to boycotting GM, even so far as explaining to those poor GM workers why he’s going to support actions that could lead to their losing jobs. Oh, its not about you, it’s about the people rejecting socialism.

Yes, lets either continue to bailout companies, or let them collapse, and that will make it ALL better. Just got to teach those market lessons!

Yeah, that will teach a lesson America will never forget: Republican Economics, if followed, will lead to the ruin of industries, and chronic unemployment. Why? Because Republicans are more interested in making academic and political points with their policy than they are in keeping America’s economy functional.

We need adults in charge here. Sane adults. Mature, sane adults. Folks who know the difference between incipient communism and Emergency measures to right an economy before it goes into a tailspin. Folks who are less interested in nannying the American people and didactically lecturing them about the dangers of government intervention, and more interested in making sure that the mess from that highly artificial distortion of the market that the Republicans allowed on their watch doesn’t swallow up a huge chunk of the economy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 11, 2009 9:20 PM
Comment #282815

So I suppose that all the liberals driving around my neighborhood in their Toyota Priuses are guilty of “economic espionage” and are trying to make America fail by failing to buy American? Interesting.

If this is to be the new patriotism test in Obama’s America, can we expect the latte-liberal set to start trading in their Priuses for Chevy Malibus? Or maybe Silverado SUVs?

Or is it just conservatives who we’re going to expect to buy cars they don’t want in order to demonstrate their loyalty to the regime?

I don’t know what Limbaugh has and hasn’t said, but I do know that nobody has any obligation to spend whatever money they still have (after the government has already taken their bite in taxes) on something which doesn’t represent their values and desires. A government-run company which has been propped up by a left-wing administration in order to reward and pay off their political allies in the unions certainly does not represent my values or desires. It’s the same kind of thing as when some folks refuse to buy furs, blood-diamonds, or non fair-trade coffee.

Besides, when I buy cars these days, I’m too busy stimulating the Italian economy—but I digress.

Stephen, if you believe that it’s the responsibility of citizens to just put aside their philosophical and political objections and spend money to stimulate the economy, then why don’t you just go out and buy five thousand copies of Anne Coulter’s latest book? Seriously. You’re committing economic sabotage if you don’t.

In any case, there’s always this: any freedom-loving person who wants to buy American in order to help the economy but has reservations about supporting the socialism that has recently come to our shores can always buy a Ford.

Seriously, buy a Ford. Help the economy and strike a blow for freedom all at the same time.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at June 11, 2009 10:24 PM
Comment #282820

Context.

I’ve seen it many many times. Since I listen to the show I hear exactly what he says. Then I read and hear what the media and sites like TPM say he said and it’s painfully clear when they grossly misrepresent something.

Rush talked about a poll that said that 25% of Americans were disinclined to buy GM cars if the government was running it.

Your headline and first paragraph says that Rush is encouraging, expecting, and otherwise trying persuade listeners to boycott GM. That just isn’t the case. TPM and your post is not correct.

At least look at what he actually said.

Now, the way Rasmussen tracks this, he says, “The president’s ratings have slipped since GM filed for bankruptcy to initiate a new government bailout and takeover and only 26% of Americans believe that GM bailout was a good idea. Nearly as many support a boycott of GM products,” and I know that’s true! (laughing) I’ve been hearing from people left and right. Nobody wants to support an Obama company. For those of you for those of you that work at GM you have to understand the people angry are not angry at you. They’re not angry at General Motors.

And since I know that the left would never try to boycott anything just because it was a conservative company *Cough* FOXNEWS *cough* But hey, you have to try to put fear of Republicans out there somehow right?

Posted by: eric at June 11, 2009 10:54 PM
Comment #282823

I see no reason for any Limbaugh-listeners to defend against this charge. If true, good for Limbaugh.

This is a human rights issue as far as I’m concerned, a question of whether or not those of us who are already taxpayers should volunteer even more of a money to support graft, political corruption, and incipient totalitarianism.

Again, if the concern here is the auto industry and bolstering the American economy, there are many choices consumers can make other than buying cars built by a company which failed but was then propped up in a corrupt quid pro quo deal between our Dear Leader and his political cronies.

Further, don’t buy into this argument from people who think it’s our responsibility to buy badly built cars in order to support America. All they’re interested in is supporting and lending credence to the Obama regime.

These are the same people, after all, who militantly force us to buy foreign oil instead of drilling for it here.

Yes, I know, there is this science fiction fantasy about our cars and homes getting energy from “alternative sources” which exist as much as do tractor-beams and faster-than-light drives. Beam me up Scotty! Beam me right up to the Oval Office!

In the meantime, we’re still buying massive amounts of foreign oil and will continue to do so for decades while being prevented from getting it here even though we have it here. The worst part of it is that these same folks who are hamstringing us and gutting our economy have the unbelievable nerve to question our patriotism on the basis of not wanting to buy crappy cars built by the Obama regime.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at June 11, 2009 11:25 PM
Comment #282825

LO-

So I suppose that all the liberals driving around my neighborhood in their Toyota Priuses are guilty of “economic espionage” and are trying to make America fail by failing to buy American? Interesting.

The Auto companies, bad as their practices were, went bankrupt because of the collapse of the credit markets. We have no business letting American industries get wiped out, simply to satisfy ideological dogma.

America needs to stop throwing away critical industries to foreign competitors just for the sake of the purity of political or economic theory.

This is not about Government being better able to manage companies on an ongoing basis. This about fixing GM up, stabilizing it, and making it a paying, private car company again that won’t have to slip back into bankruptcy again soon.

But go ahead. I’m sure that millions of Americans will greet your ideological integrity on this matter with equanimity as you put them out on unemployment. I’m sure they’ll be very grateful for the blow you’ve struck for freedom as they wonder how to pay their bills or remain in their homes.

A majority of Americans still think he’s doing a good job on the economy, and trust him better than they trust your people. They still believe, by a three quarters margin, almost, that the economy won’t recover in an instant, and that he inherited economic problems, didn’t generate them himself. His Job ratings remain in the low sixties, high fifties, and his favorability ratings are up around two thirds, consistently.

Rush is using some BS metric with the statistics that allows him to say that a man that has twice the popularity of the Republicans, of him for that matter, is somehow low or slipping in popularity. I bet he came up with equally creative excuses for why it wasn’t a bad thing for Bush’s job ratings to be in the toilet.

Rush’s particularly disingenous style of argument is to build one stacked argument on top of another until his listeners don’t know which end is up. He plays on party mythology, and reinforces all kinds of looniness in the process.

If he were really concerned with fighting socialism, he would be telling Americans to buy American, and to buy GM if it tickles their fantasy so that government ownership of GM doesn’t become a permanent affair. What he’s really fighting is the same damn political war he’s been fighting for the last thirty years.

Unfortunately, he’s neglected on important thing: at the end of the day, you have to choose your battles.

This fight is the wrong fight to take a side on. He and his party are providing the foils for Obama and the Democrats. As long as Rush makes sure the world knows that he and “real” conservatives are out there trying to undermine the nation’s recovery from the mess that happened under their watch, doing so for their political benefit, he will make it easy for people to forgive Obama’s shortfalls on account of those dragging him down on the right.

If you folks succeed, you get the blame for the failures. I mean, you folks worked so hard to see them through…

eric-
I don’t watch Fox because it doesn’t report anything new, I mysteriously have little taste for pundits that vitriolically attack Democrats and Liberals, and I had a terrible time trying to get a straight story from them on the WMD issue. They would report with gusto that something had been found, I would come back to look at it again, and it would be gone.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat. I decided I wasn’t going to learn much of importance following the war through their reporting. That, above all else, is why I don’t follow them, or most other Republican sites. I can’t trace back their stuff to the wall and trust that it will be plugged in. You claim unreliability about TPM because of its obvious bias. I claim unreliability about FOXNews because their reporting was crap at a time when I most needed good information. TPM, meanwhile, has been proven a valuable fount of reliable, well-sourced information. You actually keep on top of things following them.

Oh, by the way, did Rush mention that for most Americans, it wouldn’t mean a damn thing? I guess most Americans must want to support socialism. Damn commies.

Hey, hey, I’m just using Rush’s style of strained overgeneralization, don’t blame me for overstepping the bounds of reasonable valid conclusion.

Rush is a well trained hack. He’s dancing around it, but he wants his people to help him get the Republicans back on top no matter how the country as a whole has to suffer.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 12, 2009 12:32 AM
Comment #282826

LO-

This is a human rights issue as far as I’m concerned, a question of whether or not those of us who are already taxpayers should volunteer even more of a money to support graft, political corruption, and incipient totalitarianism.

Incipient totalitarianism. What a laugh. We get wireless wiretaps, you call that necessary. We have soldiers torturing inmates, you call it frat hazing. You have secret prisons and continuous efforts by the Bush Administration to deny external oversight and checks and balances.

But hey, Obama uses the government’s power and resources to save the American car industry, and its Hitler on the march.

This what is pissing me off. We’re doing our best to try and clean up YOUR mess, and what are you doing? Throwing rocks and crap at us, all the while encouraging the folks on the fringe to believe that America’s descending into fascism, communism, or whatever negative, freedom-starve kind of regime you can think of. Are there any limits, any lines of shame which are left to cross?

The alternate sources exist, and they’re getting better every day. They aren’t pie in the sky, not unless the sum total of your technology news is that you get out of Fox New’s punditry lineup.

I keep track of these things, of all the new, more efficient technologies, of the advances in photovoltaics, among other things. Maybe I should start publishing links to the sites I frequent.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 12, 2009 12:44 AM
Comment #282827
We have no business letting American industries get wiped out, simply to satisfy ideological dogma.

Is GM the only American automobile company? Let’s just pretend that it is!

Your comments are hilarious. This is about propping up Obama and subsidizing his failures, not helping American industries. Buying a car or truck from a company which didn’t fail and then attach itself it to the government tit for survival is better for industry than shoveling even more money to Obama’s corrupt big labor cronies.

We get wireless wiretaps, you call that necessary…

Me and Obama then. Along with the secret renditions and other measures which Obama has either continued or expanded. Our mess? Yeah, right. Tell it to Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. Tell it to the big labor bosses and the incompetent automobile CEOs who failed to stand up to them and thereby destroyed the American automobile industry. Tell it to the anti-drilling zealots who force us to buy foreign oil while we wait for their science fiction fantasy “alternative” sources to come on line. Compare Bush’s defecits to Obama’s and adjust your arguments to reflect reality. And don’t complain about your side “getting crapped on” when your side is destroying the foundations of our economy in the name of a personality cult. And further don’t complain about being “crapped on” when your side did nothing but just that for eight years to George Bush for bothering to protect you from murderers and terrorists.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at June 12, 2009 1:09 AM
Comment #282842

Stephen D., you said: “he’s (Limbaugh) expecting his listeners to join with him in politically motivated economic sabotage.”

I doubt that. He is expecting to bump his ratings in order to strengthen his bargaining power for higher compensation in his next contract. Limbaugh is a P.T. Barnum for the Right. Nothing more, nothing less. And he’s as good at it as Barnum ever was. What was it Barnum said: “There’s a sucker born every minute?” Limbaugh is an excellent Barnum protoge’. That’s all.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 12, 2009 9:08 AM
Comment #282843

LO-

Is GM the only American automobile company? Let’s just pretend that it is!

Was the GM the only car company the Republicans were eager to let fail? Not that I recall.

GM’s going through bankruptcy. Obama didn’t have to let that happen. He could have just given them more money, no strings attached. It also is not a union-loving sort of thing to do because bankruptcy allows the renegotiation of Contracts with the unions, where it might not otherwise be possible.

Me and Obama then. Along with the secret renditions and other measures which Obama has either continued or expanded.

Renditions are not necessarily a bad thing. It’s renditions where the intent is to deliver somebody to another country for the purposes of torture. Obama’s a Lawyer, and so he’ll make distinctions that while not politically correct in public opinion, reflect actual legal jurisprudence. Obama’s still set on emptying Gitmo, and we’re seeing multiple cases in the news about it. He is putting forward the Military tribunals, but with greater protections for the suspect’s rights, and it’s only being used with those combatants whose alleged violations took place in a battlefield environment that does not justify prosecution under laws concern civil order here.

Obama is systematically dismantling the extralegal framework that Bush put in place, keeping some practices, but refining them, placing them under greater accountability, and so on and so forth. Republicans are jumping on so many things, seeking vindication, but if they read the fine print, they’ll find that Obama isn’t simply being forced by Circumstances to retrace Bush’s footsteps.

What about anti-drilling zealots? Maybe you should call them anti-stupid advocates instead. We might see pennies off the gallon in about twenty something years. No, we can do better than that. You talk as if the techology isn’t here. Not only is it here, but it’s getting better every day. There are actual vehicles on the road using hybrid technology. Photovoltaics are actually out there, being used. When my parents negotiated their rate for electricity recently, we were told a full fifth of our power would be from wind. Pie in the sky? Facts on the ground. The science is there, and has been there, we’ve just had politicians, sadly of both parties, along folks to get away with doing nothing. Necessity is the mother of invention. The question is, do we make greater efficiency necessary before the market does, taking a greater economic toll, or do we get ahead of the curve?

As for Deficits? First, Obama’s absorbing some of the costs of Bush’s screw-ups, in the form of TARP and other emergency measures. He’s also putting the war on the books, rather than hiding them off the ledger. This years deficit will also included money given out from the stimulus package, which we can fairly say is a unique event. Bush, on the other hand, started out with relatively little fiscal trouble on his plate, and escalated the deficit spending consistently, doubling America’s debt. Those are the realities. You’re operating with quite a bit of a blindspot here for your own party’s fiscal insanity. We can’t just instantly make your wasted money and deficit spending go away. We have to bring this under control, which our budget does.

And don’t complain about your side “getting crapped on” when your side is destroying the foundations of our economy in the name of a personality cult. And further don’t complain about being “crapped on” when your side did nothing but just that for eight years to George Bush for bothering to protect you from murderers and terrorists.

Poor you. How ungrateful we Democrats are. We should be part of Bush’s cult of personality instead. Obama’s well loved as a leader in the Democratic Party, but he’s not held immune from criticism, despite all the love we have for him. His decisions get critiqued, just like everybody else’s are.

But I think your leaders are jealous that they didn’t receive the adulation that Obama gets from people spontaneously. Part of it is that he’s not Bush. He’s openly and unapologetically liberal. He’s articulate, unlike Bush, which is why you folks have to Bash him for the TelePrompTer. He’s moderate, responsive to criticism, and willing to work with the other side, even when all it gets him is grief. He makes tough decisions that sometimes place him at odds with his voters, but doesn’t make a point of sticking a thumb in the public’s eye.

He’s well loved, and Republican opinion leaders jealously despise him for it. This is the approval, the adoration they felt Bush deserved. How dare this upstart be popular!

The sooner you stop resenting Obama for being popular, the faster you can reverse engineer a better Republican candidate from his specs. It’s easy: pick a moderate, well-spoken candidate, who respects the rule of law, lends some humility to America’s public profile, yet quietly radiates pride in his country, and elevates its standards.

Now when will your party stop holding itself apart and over everybody else, and start being humble enough to admit its failures and talk and discuss things maturely with the rest of us? Don’t you guys get tired of the perpetual partisan warfare it seems you’ve obligated yourselves to? When are you going to trust most Americans to think and act for themselves, an accept that they’re not always going to do things your way?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 12, 2009 9:10 AM
Comment #282845

stephen

“GM’s going through bankruptcy. Obama didn’t have to let that happen. He could have just given them more money, no strings attached.”

he’s letting GM go through bankruptcy because giving them more tax money after public sentiment for thier bailout turned sour, would have not been politically expedient. his approval rating would have suffered.

“It also is not a union-loving sort of thing to do because bankruptcy allows the renegotiation of Contracts with the unions, where it might not otherwise be possible.”

so GM couldn’t have filed BK before we threw away billions of tax dollars( money we didn’t have to throw away i might add )and still renegotiated those union contracts, or could it be they may have left and taken those jobs elsewhere, costing the UAW 1000s of members? i’de say it’s the latter. big payback to those union bosses who helped get him elected.

“Obama’s a Lawyer, and so he’ll make distinctions that while not politically correct in public opinion, reflect actual legal jurisprudence.”

yes like marandizing terrorist picked up on the battle field. i feel so much safer with barry leading the fight on terror. oh wait, we aren’t allowed to call it that anymore.

Posted by: dbs at June 12, 2009 9:29 AM
Comment #282855

dbs-
The real question is, whether he wants to keep the headache of having to run a car company. It is politically expedient to get GM off the government books, sooner rather than later. It also happens to be better practically than the alternatives.

On the subject of when they filed bankruptcy, there was a good possiblity that it wasn’t going to be Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which is the recoverable kind, but Chapter 7, which means oblvion for the company in question. Obama’s policies allowed GM a softer crash landing, if you will.

As for Mirandizing terrorists? Who the hell does it hurt? If we’re going to be trying these people in court, putting them in jail, making a public example of them instead of hiding them away in a dark hole, a few harmless observations of this (if indeed this is done) won’t lose a single life, and may indeed help us win cases, which in turn protects Americans.

You can call it the war on terror, and then we can follow it up with the war on anxiety, the war on discomfort, and finally the war on ennui and boredom, as we get tired of labels that describe a war against an emotion. ;-)

But seriously, aren’t there more important things out there than figuring out the ideologically correct thing to call it?

And when are the Republicans going to quit acting like the world’s going to come to an end because a Democrat is in charge? Good heavens. Y’all should maintain some resemblence of dignity. You folks seem so scared all the time, that one has to wonder whether you’re winning in the war on terror, or whether terror is.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 12, 2009 10:23 AM
Comment #282857

back to failure at any cost. my guess is that none of the people wanting obama to fail at any cost, which of course is american business at this point, have never served active duty armed forces. they haven’t laid their lives on the line for this country. would find it very hard to beleive that if one goes to a va hospital you would find 1 person who agrees with rush.

rush should really go to a va hospital, and look at the men and women who have given so much for this country and explain to them why he wants our president to fail. this is serious folks, it is no longer entertainment. of course, i have never found him entertaining anyway.

Posted by: bluebuss at June 12, 2009 10:51 AM
Comment #282863

stephen

“And when are the Republicans going to quit acting like the world’s going to come to an end because a Democrat is in charge? Good heavens. Y’all should maintain some resemblence of dignity. You folks seem so scared all the time,”

now substitute democrats for republicans, and that question would have been appropriate for the 8 years proceeding obamas election.

“As for Mirandizing terrorists? Who the hell does it hurt?”

they are not US citizens, and are being picked up on a battlefield. if they are wearing the uniform of another country they are then prisoners of war, and subject to the geneva convention. otherwise they are enemy combatants and have no right to our justice system. the problem i see is that we are back to treating this as a law enforcement issue, and not what it is, a war.

so how do we get information out of these people after telling them they have right to remain silent, and have the right to an attorney? then have the attorney tell them to keep quiet. how could anyone be more concerned with appearance then doing whatever it takes to protect the lives of thier fellow americans, is beyond me. are you willing to sacrifice 1000s of innocent lives just so you can hold your head up and say we have principles. our principles are not a suicide pact.

Posted by: dbs at June 12, 2009 11:41 AM
Comment #282866

dbs-
We weren’t scared of what Bush was going to do. We were frightened because of what he was doing, and had done.

You guys saying Obama’s GOING to turn America into a socialist dictatorship, that he’s GOING to take all your guns, that he’s GOING to invade government into every part of people’s lives.

We can say, without qualification, that Bush did intrude on American’s communications and private records without a warrant. We can say he made America a direct party to torture of prisoners. We can say that he wrote signing statements where he effectively awarded himself the ability to judge which laws were constitutional without going to the courts and getting judgments on his behalf from that branch.

We can say that Bush violated the habeas corpus rights of an American citizen, with the Supreme Court to back us up. We can say that Bush got into a war of choice on the thin pretexts of a sloppily organized intelligence case.

As such, our arguments against Bush, our fears of what he would do next were founded on actual misconduct and abuses of power, not merely partisan spite and distrust. Bush had done things.

All you’re really saying is that Obama’s going to do things, and the thing you predict are the typical Republican predictions they always make about what Democrats are going to do.

As for protecting the innocent by not handing terrorism suspects rights? Doesn’t work that way. No, what happens is that the government drowns itself in irrelevant detail, and goes on wild goose chases after confirming erroneous theories with people who didn’t have the will left to gainsay them.

Torture is a shortcut that presents its own hazards, and due to its twisted nature, may end up not being a shortcut at all, but a long detour.

There’s a reason people switched over to more disciplined forms of interrogation: they work better. They get more reliable confessions, more cooperative prisoners, more evidence that is useable in court proceedings, multiplying their intelligence effect with our ability to put these people on trial and hand them demoralizing defeats in our courts.

Which allows us to feel justly proud of our being better, more civilized individuals than our enemies. We don’t follow our principles merely because they are nice, we follow them because they are practically and morally superior to the alternative.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 12, 2009 12:30 PM
Comment #282868

Limbaugh must be back on the O.C. - the last shreds of what sanity he had has left him. He is nothing but a blathering, muttering lunatic. Several million listeners are all that separates him from the wingnut standing on a fountain screaming at passers-by. His latest ravings about the guy who murdered a guard at the Holocaust Museum being a liberal (because he hates Israel) shows that he is not now nor ever has been deterred by pesky facts as long as he can say something outrageous that millions of ditto-heads can repeat as if they thought that nonsense up themselves. I actually find it humorous that the GOP is letting this inmate speak for the asylum.

Stephen, you are right on by saying that the collapse of the US auto makers, specifically GM, has more to do with the collapsing credit market than the vehicles they produce. That collapse was caused by deregulation by the last 4 administrations (1 Democrat included) to allow speculative borrowing on projected revenues among other practices that cook the books so some one can get a huge bonus (that of course doesn’t have to be returned when the profit never materializes).

Now I don’t pretend to fully understand this issue nor am I positive that the steps being taken are the best ones. One thing I am pretty certain of, letting the “free market” sort out a mess created by said free market ain’t gonna work.

Posted by: tcsned at June 12, 2009 2:47 PM
Comment #282869

My attitude about the free market goes as follows:

a) It originally meant the capitalist, hybrid economy that we enjoy, where middle class folks prospered with the rich. We won the cold war with this system basically in place; this was capitalism’s victory over communism.

b) These folks who push the free market as being about keeping government out of business’s way forget something crucial: practically nobody thinks of things with the general good in mind. It’s not that people are trying to ruin things. They just don’t percieve their individual actions as harmful at a more global level of scale.

But local actions, multiplied over a population of millions, even if all do not partake, can add up to dangerous secondary effects.

The market is good at balancing interests towards a decent price for things, providing people are well informed, provided that the business aren’t getting so greedy that they’re strangling the life out of people’s ability to participate in the market.

You can’t do that without at least some legal sanction applicable for doing otherwise.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 12, 2009 3:56 PM
Comment #282871

“As such, our arguments against Bush, our fears of what he would do next were founded on actual misconduct and abuses of power, not merely partisan spite and distrust. Bush had done things”

You could say all that after his first 5 months on the job? Funny Stephen, I seem to remember it a little differently.
Bush is GOING to steal the elections.
Bush is GOING to take away our right to vote.
Bush is GOING to take away free speech.
Bush is GOING to turn us into a theocracy.

Face it, the only real difference between Bush and obama after the first 5 months is that Bush did not use govt to take over the private sector.

You can claim Bush did all those other things, Stephen, but it rings hollow when the obama himself will not push for charges and Ms. pelosi says she needs to see evidence of wrongdoing before she will bring up charges. Of course, why would they? The obama seems to actually agree with alot of what Bush did. So much so that he hasn’t changed them. Wiretapping? Its now ok. Torture? Just do it overseas, not at Gitmo. Iraq? The Bush plan wasn’t so bad afterall, lets just “say” we are going to move up withdrawal and announce when we will do it. Overspending? Its ok now because it is for liberal things.

I too hope that the obama’s policies fail, for if they succeed, America will be a much different, sadder place for my children and grandchildren.

Posted by: kctim at June 12, 2009 4:53 PM
Comment #282872

sabotage(OED)

Fr., f. saboter to make a noise with sabots, to perform or execute badly, e.g. to ‘murder’ (a piece of music), to destroy wilfully (tools, machinery, etc.), f. sabot: see SABOT(A wooden shoe made of a single piece of wood shaped and hollowed out to fit the foot.) and -AGE.]

The malicious damaging or destruction of an employer’s property by workmen during a strike or the like; hence gen. any disabling damage deliberately inflicted, esp. that carried out clandestinely in order to disrupt the economic or military resources of an enemy.

1910 Church Times 11 Nov. 631/2 We have lately been busy in deploring the sabotage of the French railway strikers.

1916 Sydney Morning Herald 18 Oct., A shearing rouseabout,..charged..with having written a letter to Senator Lynch, threatening him and certain other Labour politicians and employers of Australia with acts of sabotage.

1918 E. S. FARROW Dict. Mil. Terms 528 Sabotage, wanton destruction of property to embarrass or injure an enemy; such as the smashing of machinery, flooding of mines, burning of wheat and grain, destroying fruit and provisions, dynamiting reservoirs and aqueducts, tying up railroads, etc.

1920 Glasgow Herald 26 June 7 Forces are at work in Germany for the sabotage of the Treaty.

1948 N.Y. Jrnl. American (Sunday Mail ed.) 9 May 1/5 Berger and Dasch gave..‘full and complete’ identification of all connected with the sabotage plot.

1977 South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) 22 July 1/4 The border flare-up began on July 12, the radio said, when a four-man Libyan sabotage squad was arrested after crossing the border armed with machineguns and explosives.

1978 T. ALLBEURY Lantern Network vii. 86
Langlois had led six-man teams on fifteen sabotage missions.

1979 Tucson (Arizona) Citizen 20 Sept. 11A/5 The PLO has provided guns and sabotage devices to its IRA friends.


Hence sabotage v. trans., to ruin, destroy, or disable deliberately and maliciously (freq. by indirect means)

1918 New Appeal 7 Dec. 1/2 Testimony..that the companies are sabotaging the government.

1920 Glasgow Herald 20 Aug. 7 When the miners threaten to sabotage the commerce of the country struggling to get back to pre-war prosperity.

1934 C. LAMBERT Music Ho! v. 303 Technically speaking it [sc. the atonal school] sabotaged the moribund romantic tradition.

1941 Sun (Baltimore)22 Mar. 24/1 The fireworks bill..was passed by the Senate tonight..despite eleventh-hour attempts to sabotage it or delay enactment.

1975 Times 14 Jan. 14/3 [Michael Foot] defended the social contract and weighed into the press for sabotaging it.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 12, 2009 5:27 PM
Comment #282875

self destructive saboteur: OED: Rush Limbaugh.:)

I can’t help thinking of the guy in Monty Python’s meaning of life eating one more little truffle and then exploding, whenever I see Rush.

Posted by: gergle at June 12, 2009 9:25 PM
Comment #282885

kctim-
People only got convinced that Bush stole the election after his people intimidated the people doing the recount, and won the election based on a one-time only decision by a 5-4 divided court along ideological lines.

The disdain he and his campaign showed for resolving that question once and for all was what convinced people that Bush’s election wasn’t entirely legitimate. I accepted it, myself, but had I been advising him, I would have told him to lay low and not make waves. Instead, Bush and his people took this as their cue to run rampant over everybody.

Bush’s reputation as far as voting rights go was well earned. Republicans working on his behalf used all kinds of illegitimate tactics, like vote caging, misleading flyers, among other things to clear qualified voters’ names from the voting rolls. Though nobody ever truly demonstrated that 2000 was the result of voter fraud, that seemed to be the number one focus of Bush’s election reform efforts. This crime, which is spectacularly rare in practice, became a standard way to put in practice policies, which in practice caused such things like people being turned away at the polls for having slightly different names on the voting rolls than on their identification. So, in a real sense, Bush DID take away many’s right to vote, and for reasons that are cynical at best.

Which reminds me, you know what it was that the Bush adminsistration wanted the US attorneys to look for in 2006, including the ones they fired: voter fraud cases. Though most of them turned up empty, the Bush Administration insisted they go looking for even more cases of this and other politically related crimes to prosecute, especially in places and among people whose defeat would be helpful to Republicans. The ones who got fired were the ones who stood up to this, who didn’t go along with the plan.

Bush was not known for being fond of protestors, who were generally hustled away into cordoned off areas called Free Speech zones- generally places out of his sight. His administration wasn’t all that friendly about the press, and punished people for leaking, for gainsaying his policies.

As for Theocracy? I don’t know if it was ever that bad, but his Justice Department seemed to have a tendency to choose a great many lawyers from Pat Robertson’s Regent University, despite the terrible reputation of the place.

It’s become a sport for some to compare Barack Obama to George Bush. I think it’s a blindingly obvious rhetorical ploy. The Right is weighed down heavily by Bush’s legacy of incompetence, corruption, and ideological fervor. Rather than shed it, folks on the right are taking the unfortunate step of just trying to convince everybody else that they’re no better, and maintaining their debased condition.

I think Obama disagrees with much that Bush did, but that it’s not so simple to undo the mess. Obama has to maintain national security at the same time as he unties some of these knots, and I don’t think anything’s going to be so simple as just ordering that it happens.

Its not something that is uncontroversial among the Democrats.

But I don’t think real world policy is fixed that easy. But I do think he’s trying to fix it.

I too hope that the obama’s policies fail, for if they succeed, America will be a much different, sadder place for my children and grandchildren.

You folks pushed your policies to the limit. I wished they didn’t end in failure, but they did, and we need that change from those policies. It’s critical that this happens. If this causes you anxiety about the future, well, tough. Because eight years of Bush has left America with worries enough. Your policies didn’t work. We can’t indulge them just to mollify all you people.

People like me are wondering why you folks can’t admit any defeats or failures. Why you can’t let anybody else run the country, instead of maintaining the insane, dysfunctional status quo. We can’t let this place stay the way you guys have had it! America won’t endure long with our way of life intact. Sanity has to return to American society.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 12, 2009 11:34 PM
Comment #282906

Rush Limbaugh’s rhetoric is nothing more than the same sort of endless fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the circular, blind, partisan warfare that repeatedly appears in Stephen Daugherty’s articles. It’s a distraction from more important issues.

Is there really any difference between the two parties, aside from their extremes (which are both bad)?

  • Extreme #1: One extreme wants regressive taxation, unfettered capitalism, little (if any) government regulations, and freedom to explore and wallow in every manifestation of unchecked greed.
  • Extreme #2: The other extreme wants a nanny-state with citizens increasingly dependent on the government; with massive cradle-to-grave government programs (which are usually severely mismanaged) that nurture a sense of entitlement and dependency on government; wants to grow government ever larger (despite the already current nightmare proportions); rewards failure and laziness; and perpetuates the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone else.
At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful). Posted by: d.a.n at June 13, 2009 4:53 PM
Comment #282918

dan-
Let me see if I can explain this in a way that appeals to your strong sense of reason.

My biggest complaint with Rush and the Republicans is not that they’re following their political instincts. My biggest complaint is that for them, the success of their politics has become a concern that outweighs the good fortunes of the country.

For me, the problem with the Iraq was was not ideological. My problem was that it took us off Bin Laden’s trail without good cause and that it was run so bad for so long that permanent damage was done to our strategic aims there. Earlier in the war, the drumbeat I kept up in my entries was to improve our approach to the war before it became too late. I was not a pessimist about the war until long into 2006.

My problem with Bush on Katrina was not political. I had seen many presidents respond to disaster, but I’d never seen such a negligent, fouled-up response in my life.

Whether it’s an approach to global warming that valued rhetoric over the scientific consensus, to the concerns about energy policy that Bush addressed by letting fossil fuel companies have free reign, my concern was always one of practical realities.

I don’t identify with the Democrats with your cariacture portrayal of our values in mind. Hell, no self-respecting, real-world human being would. You’re spouting propaganda, meant to sour people on the different parties.

I was educated, as a relatively strong liberal in Baylor University, which is one of the most Conservative colleges in the country. It didn’t so much have Student Democrats chapter, as a College Republicans chapter, and an even more conservative student organization.

But what I found there were good, honest, hardworking, critical thinkers who defied both the stereotypes of evangelicals and those of conservatives. It was friendly place, for the most part.

That was sort of what I entered the early part of this decade influenced by. What made me so strongly partisan against the Republicans was how much the party leaders differed from the moderate, sensible conservatism I saw there, how much it just became about winning political fights, and newscycles, rather than getting things done right.

To the extent that I see that happening in my party’s inhabitant of the White House, I oppose it too, and not not just for cynical, party-oriented reasons: I want Obama to succeed where Bush did not: in doing actual good for the country, and enacting policies that work in more than just a short term political fashion.

I have always been more about good results than actualized dogma and propaganda. If Democrats have to throw out platform planks and campaign promises to do good, so be it. If Obama has to endanger or sacrifice his chances for a second term to do things right, I want him to do that.

I don’t want perpetual tension and partisan sniping for its own sake.

I oppose Rush Limbaugh and criticize him so unrelentingly, because he represents for me the kind of “victory at all costs” mindlessly contrarian, ideologically straitjacketed conservatism which is willing to gut the country’s economic strength just to prove an ideological point. That’s what offended me about what Rush said.

You know, I don’t want my government holding a permanent stake in GM. Temperorary majority ownership is tolerable, though, if it means we don’t have to bail them out again.

I am willing to accept less than ideal solutions, when doing nothing or making things worse is the alternative. If you look at my frustrated, angry posts over the last few months as if they’re all just about politics, then you miss my real points: We need an mature, functioning government to get America back in mature, functioning shape. What I’m sick of out of the Republicans is a perpetual willingness to let bad things happen to this country in order for them to get what they want politically. I know many of them may have good intentions, and may actually believe that Obama’s policies are dangerous. But by putting forward unacceptable, impractical, and ideologically loaded alternatives as the alternative, they’re not doing anybody, least of all, themselves, any good.

That is what I oppose, and what I will always oppose. The only way to get past bitter division is to be willing to consider practical compromises, and to have the spirit of one’s approach always be one of making things work, rather than getting one’s way in some sort of zero-sum competition.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 13, 2009 10:18 PM
Comment #282930

Remember when the right went off because a DHS report warned of an increase in right wing extremist,potentially leading to more terrorist attacks? So far we have the Tiller assasination and the murder of a guard at the Holocaust Center by right wing crackpots. Be assured there is more to come. Rush ,Fox and even some of the Rep establishment are feeding this hatred. They did the same under Clinton, leading to the worst terrorist attack in American history until 9/11.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/12/opinion/12krugman.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

Posted by: bills at June 14, 2009 4:41 AM
Comment #282932

SD
I suspect the near panic about the Feds involvement with GM has less to do with a fear of encroaching socialism and more to do with the prospect of GM being forced to finally start offering a line of cars that use less oil. Big Oil has been calling the shots of the Rep Party for some time. They have also been calling the shots of much US foriegn policy forever. For example; The CIA installation of the Shah etc. OLd news. I can’t help but wonder how a supposedly intelligent group of GM executives could possibly have come up with the wrong market solutions for so long without oil company collusion. I am guessing a fuel efficient product line is less of a worry than the exposure of that collusion and its reaction.

Posted by: bills at June 14, 2009 5:15 AM
Comment #282947


L.O., we have been living in the middle of a science fiction fantasy turned reality all our lives. There was a time when what the Wright brothers were doing was SF fantasy. Robert Goddard was a SF fanatic, as was Von Braun. Telecomunications satellites were once a SF fantasy dreamed up by Arthur C. Clark.

Posted by: jlw at June 14, 2009 1:48 PM
Comment #282952
Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’re spouting propaganda, meant to sour people on the different parties.
Funny how some people accuse others of the very thing they do them self.

Blind partisan loyalties not only prevent many voters from seeing the extremes of each main party (extremes which are both bad), but the fact that there is very little (if any) difference between the two main parties. It’s silly to think replacing a few Republicans with a few Democrats is going to change much (if anything) for the better.

The same sort of crap appears on FOX News and CNN News (and others).
Those new stations BOTH go to their ridiculous extremes, while BOTH ignore more substantive issues.
Neither are reporting on many things; only cherry picking what they want, while also fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the circular partisan warfare.

And this Congress and administration is setting new records in spending, debt, fiscal irresponsibility (not to mention giving themselves automatic annual raises), and growing the already severely bloated federal government beyond already nightmare proportions. There will be a huge price for several decades of fiscal irresponsibility and other continued abuses. And blaming it on the previous administrations ain’t gonna work forever.

The federal government should have let the bad banks, GM, and Chrysler go bankrupt like they did anyway (while the FDIC still made good on insured deposits).
Especially with so much federal debt already, which is the largest national federal debt per-capita ever ($37K) (One-Simple-Idea.com/NationalDebt.jpg), which is 70% larger than the national federal debt per-capita after World War II in 1945 (which was $22K in 2008 inflation adjusted dollars).

All of the focus on Rush Limbaugh is just more of same extremist nonsense he spews.
Rush Limbaugh isn’t even in the federal government.
So why do some people act like Rush Limbaugh is in the federal government?
How about some real honest dialogue, instead of more fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the partisan-warfare?

What about the corruption, waste, and bloated federal government which is essentially FOR-SALE (evidenced by 99.7% of all 200 million eligible voters who are vastly out-spent by a very tiny 0.3% of the wealthiest voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more)?
What about Congress giving itself automatic raises (10 raises in the last 12 years), while U.S. troops risk life and limb, go without adequate medical care, promised benefits, and have to do 2, 3, 4+ tours in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Some one made a lot of promises, to get elected. Over 500.

We can fuel and wallow in the partisan warfare, but what will it accomplish, except to distract more people from more substantive issues?
But how about some focus on only these 10 major abuses that are still hammerin’ most Americans, which most (if not all) in Congress, both BOTH parties are ignoring?

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at June 14, 2009 3:35 PM
Comment #282955

BTW, there were 23 “Is in comment # 282918

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at June 14, 2009 4:10 PM
Comment #282958

d.a.n.,

“I“‘s are effective in subjective essays, conjectures and opinions. Politics is subjective. Bean-counters don’t use many “I“‘s, and look what bean-counters have done to our economy…

Posted by: Marysdude at June 14, 2009 5:56 PM
Comment #282961

well, i declare. at least he’s speaking for himself.

i see, and know the big differences in each party. and i think that the voters kept hearing the outrageous republican diatribe and that is why obama and others won. and will continue to win. you see, you can’t give the wealthy money and call it “stimulus”, and when one tries to help the poor, weak, and ill and call it “socialism”. no matter how many times you keep shouting socialism - it will come back to the banks when bush labeled it otherwise. and, not one republican ever called it socialism in september.

it’s called talking out both sides of your mouth. people know it when they see it. especially when the one thing (healthcare) can really enhance, and better their lives.

repubs keep fighting obama on things that help us in the middle class - you will not hold a single seat. careful, so many cracks, your structure is weak.

Posted by: bluebuss at June 14, 2009 9:49 PM
Comment #282966

DAN
The reason Limbaugh must be responded too is that he’s influential with a large chunk of the electorate. Why is beyond me.


And then there’s Rush Limbaugh. His rants today aren’t very different from his rants in 1993. But he occupies a different position in the scheme of things. Remember, during the Bush years Mr. Limbaugh became very much a political insider. Indeed, according to a recent Gallup survey, 10 percent of Republicans now consider him the “main person who speaks for the Republican Party today,” putting him in a three-way tie with Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich. So when Mr. Limbaugh peddles conspiracy theories — suggesting, for example, that fears over swine flu were being hyped “to get people to respond to government orders” — that’s a case of the conservative media establishment joining hands with the lunatic fringe.


From Paul Krugman,NYT in the link provided above.

Posted by: bills at June 15, 2009 6:20 AM
Comment #282974

Stephen
The point is that the left hyped up everything in order to show an end of America view, much as the right is doing today, and to say they did not because “Bush had done things,” is ridiculous. It was nothing but partisan spite and mistrust in the beginning.

So what makes the lefts concerns then, more valid than the rights concerns now? Why was it wrong for the right to dismiss the lefts concerns, but it is ok for the left to dismiss and condemn the rights concerns? Why was it ok for the left to hope that Bush policy failed, but it is wrong for the right to hope for the Obamas policy to fail?

If the left was not the enemy then, why is it that the right is the enemy now?

Posted by: kctim at June 15, 2009 10:03 AM
Comment #282985

Dan-
Look, when I spoke of “spouting propaganda”, it wasn’t merely dealing with a critique of party practices, nor a negative view of certain policies and political ideas.

It was this intensely negative view of folks in parties themselves, one built not on long experience with a particular figure, but rather on a rather distorted, heavily biased description of the people in the parties.

I think there are plenty of honest, hardworking Americans who buy into Republican politics not because of their ardent belief in the party platform, but because they’ve done the math and they like the GOP’s direction a bit more than the Democratic Party’s. Fair enough, thats what we have freedom for.

I’ve had experience with folks who are conservative in their values, but don’t fit the monstrous stereotypes, people who the leaders in Washington, and among the punditry don’t do any favors for.

The pressures to conform are great, and sometimes people get drawn into the pointless partisan battles despite themselves.

I think this whole liberal media canard is part of how that division is fueled, by convincing people that they must turn to party-advocate-run media, rather than to more independent news organizations which, despite possible bias, at least cannot be said to have an inherent conflict of interest in telling people the truth about both parties.

As my sourcing in previous comments has shown, I do sometimes reference sites with a left-wing aim. But as my long publishing history here establishes, I also use mainstream media sources as well, as I have no ideological objection to their use.

And this Congress and administration is setting new records in spending, debt, fiscal irresponsibility (not to mention giving themselves automatic annual raises), and growing the already severely bloated federal government beyond already nightmare proportions. There will be a huge price for several decades of fiscal irresponsibility and other continued abuses. And blaming it on the previous administrations ain’t gonna work forever.

Look, we’re in a tough situation here. Obama could save hundreds of billions by stopping the Iraq war tomorrow. Not going to happen. He could save it by withdrawing support to the banks. Not going to happen. He could save it by gradually reducing the expenditures over the next five years, by engineering the reduction of healthcare costs, for one example. That will happen. He can gradually bring the Iraq War, whose cost is considered in the budget for the first time with Obama (contributing to the record number given), to a close.

This is not, mostly, the result of several decades of fiscal irresponsibility, but rather one rather serious one. There is no crime in pointing out who did this, and then pointing out who helped them, especially as they attempt to regain power on the strength of supposed fiscal conservatism. I believe there is a price to be paid for such hypocrisy, and that’s the distrust of the voter.

I want Obama to bring the budget under control, because that is the only way that an agenda that favors the government helping the country out can have legitimacy and sustainability. I believe if you ask most Democrats on this site whether they believe the same, they’ll agree.

But what I think most people will agree with is that we have to be very careful about how we try to save money through government cuts, especially in these times. Like it or not, there are dependencies in place at the moment not easily broken or disregarded. We can be quick, prompt, and hardnosed about this, but we must not be foolish about it.

You say we should have let the bad banks go bankrupt. Universally, economists agreed that this would have sent the economy into an economic tailspin the likes of which only the Great Depression would be comparable to. The collapse of the Car companies in the US, with the resulting millions of jobs lost would have been little different. There are two types of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 11, that were in play. The former just plain shuts down a company, the latter allows reorganization and a structured settlement with debtors, and the company continues on after that.

If the car companies had been allowed to fail earlier, it would have been Chapter 7. That is, those companies would be gone from the face of the Earth, and you would be trying to refill millions of jobs from some other source, and regain the lost tax revenues as well.

Good luck on that.

What is uniformly regarded as the initiating event of the current collapse was allowing Lehman Brothers to go under without any kind of mitigating action. The result was a ripple effect of counterparty liabilities just radiating out from there.

I know it seems ideologically satisfying to let them go down. Hell, if it weren’t for these rather nasty secondary effects, I’d be pushing for the banks to be allowed to fail. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Auto Companies forced to go through Chapter 11. But what I can’t support is the casual disregard for economic realities that many free market advocates display, in the face of years worth of evidence that the free markets do not perform purely in ideologically beloved supply/demand relationships.

About corruption and waste and all that?

The new left are quite the muckrakers, and not merely among the Republicans. The implications of bills and of policies are discussed day in, day out, on sites with circulations of millions. I would hope Republicans get serious as well, and start investing their efforts in monitoring what their folks are doing for themselves, and speaking for themselves.

My generation of Democrats prides itself on not being caught blindsided by either the Republicans, or their own side’s problems. The ears are to the ground, and we’re always, ALWAYS watching. Again, I would hope the Republicans do the same.

What I would also hope is that people realize that if they want influence, regardless of who’s in majority, rather than the impossible dream of control, then they must negotiate with the other side in good faith. The Republicans, by following the example of folks like Rush, simply cripple their ability to exercise power without the patience-burning methods of obstruction or the prospects of a regained majority. God knows how long it might take them to get it back. The new Democratic majorities may last as long as the Republican’s, or as long as their predecessor’s.

So why do some people act like Rush Limbaugh is in the federal government?

When you have somebody who can’t be gainsayed or offended without risking your re-election, he can be said to hold considerable power. Sure as clockwork, you see most Republicans crawl right back to Rush to kiss his rear end when they try to say that he’s not a big and powerful giant in the party, or that he shouldn’t be. It’s not merely a partisan charge. When the head of the party feels it necessary to say a mea culpa to Rush, informal as it is, he’s the guy setting the agenda for the party.

BTW, there were 23 “I”s in comment # 282918

Like I’ve said before, I write conversationally about my opinion, and about my beliefs. Not much way to do that if I observe your restrictions on what pronouns are appropriate. Stephen Daugherty would sound rather strange if he wrote like this conversationally in responding to Dan. Stephen Daugherty would also sound strange referring to his beliefs in the third person.

That is, unless he took on a more impersonal, formalized approach to his posts…

Which I won’t, because I see politics as very much of a social interaction, too complex to be reduced to perfect gems of slogans, philosophies, or whatever else. It’s an applied science, so to speak, so telling and hearing the stories about how things have actually transpired is much more helpful than just talking on about principles and such.

Oh, there is a place for principles, don’t get me wrong. But principles have to be applied appropriately and justly to the real world, and if it doesn’t seem like they can be so applied, they should be rejected, regardless of the nobility of their intentions.

kctim-
We didn’t hype up much, and what we had to work from was Bush’s actual decisions, and the results of those. The results of his economic policies cannot be made plainer. The results of his military policies cannot be made plainer. The result of Obama’s contributions so far? Are up in the air.

Bush was, by virtue of his strange tenure in office, given a great deal of opportunities to succeed, to make his governing philosophies work. They didn’t. Boy did they not work. Bush’s cronyism deprived America of leadership in crisises. Bush’s foreign policy team became famous both for its incompetence and its belligerence, and the two worked together to historically awful synergistic effect with the Iraq War. Bush’s economic policies failed spectacularly, his tenure bookmarked by twin failures of the markets, the first being a warning he didn’t take heed of as the events of the second developed.

The Right was not the enemy, nor is it the enemy now, but they are trying to force the rest of us to reconsider their points of view, now discredited by the events of the last several year, having never acknowledged their error, or rethought their philosophy. The Conservatives are not our enemies, but they are our rivals, and we have beaten them fairly and squarely twice, without them conceding the losses in good faith.

Their leaders want to treat the legacy of their majority and one-party rule as if the last few years were just a hiccup, a short term lapse in their upwards trajectory towards permanent control. Until they abandon their efforts to try and forcefeed their opinion down the majorities throat, there’s not much that can be done by Democrats than to meet absolute opposition with absolute disregard. To compromise with those who will not compromise themselves is appeasement, and hardly anybody is in a mood to appease the Republicans anymore.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 15, 2009 4:02 PM
Comment #282987

For those unfamiliar with what Talking Points Memo does on a regular basis, here’s a sample.

This is the kind of reporting that made this site famous. The plain point is, most Democrats don’t want apologetics for corruption. If a few of these guys have to fall, so be it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 15, 2009 5:30 PM
Comment #282990

Stephen
There were no economic or military “results” in his first 5 months on the job and the left wanted and needed him to fail for their political success. Bush failure at any cost was the leftists mantra for 8 years and you guys now decry such politics? Come on. The only thing different is that it was wrong for them but is not ok for the left.

Yes, the left has won the last two elections, but they have not learned a damn thing. They are still forcing and cramming their beliefs onto everybody and it may not end up to pretty for you guys.

Posted by: kctim at June 15, 2009 6:00 PM
Comment #283008
bills wrote: d.a.n The reason Limbaugh must be responded too is that he’s influential with a large chunk of the electorate. Why is beyond me.
It goes both ways.

Rush Limbaugh supporters aren’t that different than other blind partisan loyalists.
Both kinds are bad:

  • Extreme #1: One extreme wants regressive taxation, unfettered capitalism, little (if any) government regulations, and freedom to explore and wallow in every manifestation of unchecked greed.

  • Extreme #2: The other extreme wants a nanny-state with citizens increasingly dependent on the government; with massive cradle-to-grave government programs (which are usually severely mismanaged) that nurture a sense of entitlement and dependency on government; wants to grow government ever larger (despite the already current nightmare proportions); rewards failure and laziness; and perpetuates the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone else.

However, Rush Limbaugh doesn’t hold office?
And any one who worships Rush Limbaugh is probably a lost cause anyway.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to focus on incumbents’ voting records?
Just the facts?
OHHHHHhhhhhhh … but then, they’d all have to look at their pathetic voting records, eh?
So, like you allude to …

bills wrote: There are also “Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” …

That’s only the tip of the iceberg.

There are too many blind loyalists on BOTH sides who don’t see how they are being manipulated and seduced into the petty, circular partisan-warfare, while most (if not all) politicians in BOTH parties perpetuate these 10 major abuses.

bills wrote: And then there’s Rush Limbaugh. His rants today aren’t very different from his rants in 1993. But he occupies a different position in the scheme of things.
Not true.

In the year-to-mid 1990s, Rush Limbaugh had a radio show and a television show also.
Today, he only has a radio show.

bills wrote: Remember, during the Bush years Mr. Limbaugh became very much a political insider. Indeed, according to a recent Gallup survey, 10 percent of Republicans now consider him the “main person who speaks for the Republican Party today,” putting him in a three-way tie with Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich.
Which is why they are losing voters.

The problem with too many voters is that they fail to see the same sort of extremism, irresponsibility, incompetence, and corruption in THEIR own party.
Blind partisan loyalties are powerful, and too many voters lazily and foolishly believe that the other extreme is better.
Give it time, and the IN-PARTY will become the OUT-PARTY.
They always do.
And voters will reap what they sow.
But, perhaps enough voters will be less apathetic, complacent, and blindly partisan when enough of the voters are deep in debt , jobless , homeless , and hungry ?

bills quoted: “So when Mr. Limbaugh peddles conspiracy theories — suggesting, for example, that fears over swine flu were being hyped “to get people to respond to government orders” — that’s a case of the conservative media establishment joining hands with the lunatic fringe.” — From Paul Krugman,NYT in the link provided above.
Yes, it is ridiculous.

But so is the same sort of lies coming from most (if not all) incumbent politicians and the current administration.

For example, consider these lies

  • Obama said: “If you actually took the number of Muslims [sic] Americans, we’d be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.” {which is clearly false}

  • Nance Pelosi said: “We were not, I repeat, were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used.” {which was proven false}

  • Tom Coburn (R-OK)said: “Under the Obama plan … all the health care in this country is eventually going to be run by the government.” {that’s not possible with so much debt; also, what is needed is non-profit insurance; not government run health care}

  • Democrats said: “The omnibus bill has only $3.8 billion in earmarks.” {which is laugable}

  • Nancy Pelosi said: “Bush’s tax cuts for high earners “have been the biggest contributor to the budget deficit.” {False.}

  • Robert Gibbs said: “There are no earmarks” in the stimulus bill.” {and I have an ocean-front property for sale in Arizona}

  • Sarah Palin said: “We’re building a nearly $40-billion natural gas pipeline, which is North America’s largest and most expensive infrastructure project ever.” {Perhaps, if it were even remotely true}

  • Obama said: McCain “has opposed stem cell research.” {False.}

  • Hillary Clinton said: McCain “still thinks it’s okay when women don’t earn equal pay for equal work.” {False.}

  • Obama said: “Our National Guard, as we saw in the Midwest flooding, can’t function as effectively as it could. I was talking to National Guard representatives. Fifteen of their 17 helicopters in this region were overseas during the flooding.” {False.}

  • Hillary Clinton said: “I actually started criticizing the war in Iraq before (Obama) did.” {False.}

  • John McCain said: It’s “common knowledge” that al-Qaida is receiving training from Iran. {False.}

  • Bill Clinton said: “Everything I have said (on the campaign trail) has been factually accurate.” {False.}

  • G.W. Bush said: Barack Obama said “he’s going to attack Pakistan and embrace (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad.” {False.}

  • John McCain said: “I have never asked for nor received a single earmark or pork barrel project for my state.” {False.}

  • John Edwards said: “I was the first presidential candidate to lay out a specific, truly universal health care plan.” {False.}

  • Obama said: “In eighth grade math, we’ve fallen to ninth place.” {No doubt, we can do much better. However, while the most recent 2007 study showed U.S. eighth graders in ninth place behind five East Asian countries and Hungary, England and Russia, it ignores year 1995, when they came in 28th place, and in 1999, they moved up to 19th, and in 2003, they climbed to 15th. So rather than falling, U.S. students have actually improved in the past decade.}

  • Peter Orszaq said: “Look, the earmarks have come down significantly, 75 percent.” {False.}

Stephen Daugherty wrote (www.watchblog.com/democrats/archives/006581.html#282985)d.a.n-
Look, when I spoke of “spouting propaganda”, it wasn’t merely dealing with a critique of party practices, nor a negative view of certain policies and political ideas.

HHHMMMmmmmmmmmmmmm …
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t identify with the Democrats with your cariacture portrayal of our values in mind. Hell, no self-respecting, real-world human being would. You’re spouting propaganda, meant to sour people on the different parties.

False.

Real-world human beings not only often identify and align with corrupt politicians, but empower and repeatedly reward Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.
And then there are those who reject anything non-Democrat:

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … as I don’t like to hear people get down on my party, …

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … because then your [independent/3rd] parties get blamed for sending things in a lousy direction.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: How many people curse the Green party for George W. Bush (43) getting elected?

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans have the choice, which I gladly let them have, of doing scuzzy things so they can make the Democrats look bad …

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Being spoilers [independent/3rd party voters] only ensures being fringe…

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I do think voters should ally with Democrats.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I‘ve been rather cross about your tendency to call the new [110th] congress a do-nothing congress … {Why? What did the 110th do-nothing Congress accomplish since 7-NOV-2006 ? And the 111th Congress consists of 86.9% of the 110th Congress.}

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think you’re underestimating the results of this last election. {We’ll see, since 85%-to-90% of incumbent politicians were re-elected.)

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t disdain third parties.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s what Democrats like myself had to do, after all, to take back the majorities and the White House.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats have significantly shifted the balance of power, despite all the barriers the Republicans put in place to keep their power.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: And yes, I obviously want voters to vote for Democrats. {Really? No kiddin’?}

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote {NEW!, which is ironic indeed}: … why do you uncritically accept partisan rhetoric …?
Also, not all facts are propaganda.

But enjoy it while you think you can and should, because the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY, and major abuses are still being ignored.
Keep blamin’ it all on the OTHER party and see how long voters buy it.
Unfortunately, when things get bad enough, the majority of voters will hold the current Congress and Administration accountable.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think there are plenty of honest, hardworking Americans who buy into Republican politics not because of their ardent belief in the party platform, but because they’ve done the math and they like the GOP’s direction a bit more than the Democratic Party’s. Fair enough, thats what we have freedom for.
If they had done their math more accurately, they’d realize that neither (One-Simple-Idea.com/MainPartySimilarities.htm) are sufficiently responsible or accountable, as evidenced by decades of abuses causing the deterioration of the economy.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: The pressures to conform are great, and sometimes people get drawn into the pointless [CIRCULAR] partisan battles despite themselves.
Very true. It happens here every day. Some people love to fuel it and wallow in it. Many of your articles do that.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think this whole liberal media canard is part of how that division is fueled, by convincing people that they must turn to party-advocate-run media, rather than to more independent news organizations which, despite possible bias, at least cannot be said to have an inherent conflict of interest in telling people the truth about both parties. As my sourcing in previous comments has shown, I do sometimes reference sites with a left-wing aim. But as my long publishing history here establishes, I also use mainstream media sources as well, as I have no ideological objection to their use.
There is still no doubt about partisan loyalties, or disdain for anything non-Democrat.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Look, we’re in a tough situation here.
When people start a sentence with “Look”, it’s usally a good sign that what you’re about to read is excuses and gobbledygook. For example …
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Obama could save hundreds of billions by stopping the Iraq war tomorrow. Not going to happen. He could save it by withdrawing support to the banks. Not going to happen.
Well, he’s got his work cut out, after making over 500 promises (www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/) to get elected.

But then, we’re supposed to believe no one is perfect, eh?
It doesn’t matter what the complaint is, because there’s always an excuse … at least until that becomes too painful.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: He could save it by gradually reducing the expenditures over the next five years, by engineering the reduction of healthcare costs, for one example. That will happen.
Hopefully. But it seriously doubtful, since the debt can’t be reduced enough to be of any significance, because the service on the debt will be too large, and inflation will be too high. It’s going to be very difficult to get another bubble any time soon, with so much debt ($11.5 Trillion federal National Debt that’s the highest per-capita debt ever, and $57 Trillion nation-wide debt which has also never been larger; up about 411% of GDP since year 1956).
Stephen Daugherty wrote: He can gradually bring the Iraq War, whose cost is considered in the budget for the first time with Obama (contributing to the record number given), to a close.
We’re still there. Seems to me that would have been one of the first things to do; start withdrawing troops from Iraq.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: This is not, mostly, the result of several decades of fiscal irresponsibility, but rather one rather serious one. There is no crime in pointing out who did this, and then pointing out who helped them, especially as they attempt to regain power on the strength of supposed fiscal conservatism. I believe there is a price to be paid for such hypocrisy, and that’s the distrust of the voter.
True. Yet, too many voters only see hypocrisy in the OTHER party, revealing their own hypocrisy or ignorance.

If voters want to send a loud and clear message to Congress, they need to send it to BOTH parties, rather than simply letting them take turns, while enjoying cu$hy 85%-to-90% re-election rates. Many voters don’t want to hear that, but when things get bad enough, that’s most likely what will happen, as it happened in year 1933, when the majority of unhappy voters ousted 206 members of Congress. Pain and misery eventually trumps blind partisan loyalties.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I want Obama to bring the budget under control, because that is the only way that an agenda that favors the government helping the country out can have legitimacy and sustainability. I believe if you ask most Democrats on this site whether they believe the same, they’ll agree.
Perhaps, but that only proves most are delusional.

There federal government has been deficit spending every consecutive year since 1956, and it’s getting MUCH worse. Not better.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: But what I think most people will agree with is that we have to be very careful about how we try to save money through government cuts, especially in these times.
Not with bloat, waste, and unnecessary spending of nightmare proportions.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Like it or not, there are dependencies in place at the moment not easily broken or disregarded. We can be quick, prompt, and hardnosed about this, but we must not be foolish about it.
True. But it’s probably too late now to avoid much chaos,pain, and misery. Especially with so much corruption in Congress, which just gave itself it’s 10th raise in 12 years, and $93K per Congress person for petty cash and expenses, while U.S. troops risk life and limb, go without armor, adequate medical care, promised benefits, and have to do 2, 3, 4+ tours in Iraq and/or Afghanistan.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: You say we should have let the bad banks go bankrupt.
That’s right. But guarantee depositors’ funds up to the FDIC insured limit.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Universally, economists agreed that this would have sent the economy into an economic tailspin the likes of which only the Great Depression would be comparable to.
Maybe, but now it will very likely be MUCH worse later, since the debt will be (if it isn’t already) untenable.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: The collapse of the Car companies in the US, with the resulting millions of jobs lost would have been little different. There are two types of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 11, that were in play. The former just plain shuts down a company, the latter allows reorganization and a structured settlement with debtors, and the company continues on after that.
GM and Chrysler went bankrupt anyway.

Helping poorly or terribly managed corporations continue to exist is unfair to the competition (e.g. Ford who received no government loans).

Stephen Daugherty wrote: If the car companies had been allowed to fail earlier, it would have been Chapter 7. That is, those companies would be gone from the face of the Earth, and you would be trying to refill millions of jobs from some other source, and regain the lost tax revenues as well. Good luck on that.
Bankruptcy is inevitable anyway.

And even by the Chapter 7 route, assets would have been sold and bought by other investors.
Besides, we can’t all live at the expense of everyone else.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: What is uniformly regarded as the initiating event of the current collapse was allowing Lehman Brothers to go under without any kind of mitigating action. The result was a ripple effect of counterparty liabilities just radiating out from there.
Many see it that way to justify the argument that the government should have bailed out Lehman Brothers too, but the problem started much longer ago.

There are currently 1,817 weak banks and thrifts (www.moneyandmarkets.com:80/files/documents/X-List.htm) with D+ or worse ratings, and there are 871 weak insurers with D+ or worse ratings (all in the U.S.).
This mess is far from over, and trying to avoid the inevitable is only going to make it much worse later.
The fundamental economic conditions are dismal (One-Simple-Idea.com/NeverWorse.htm) and the 10 major abuses still exist (One-Simple-Idea.com/Abuses.htm).

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I know it seems ideologically satisfying to let them go down.
False. It’s necessary. Most will most likely fail anyway, and it’s unfair to the competition.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Hell, if it weren’t for these rather nasty secondary effects, I’d be pushing for the banks to be allowed to fail. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Auto Companies forced to go through Chapter 11. But what I can’t support is the casual disregard for economic realities that many free market advocates display, in the face of years worth of evidence that the free markets do not perform purely in ideologically beloved supply/demand relationships.
Rewarding failure doesn’t work either (not forever), and it isn’t fair to the competition.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: About corruption and waste and all that? The new left are quite the muckrakers, and not merely among the Republicans.
It’s delusional to think either party is much better, and it is also a recipe for a huge let down.

The IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY, and the two simply take turns … at least until that finally becomes too painful (as in year 1933 when unhappy voters ousted 206 members of Congress).

Stephen Daugherty wrote: The implications of bills and of policies are discussed day in, day out, on sites with circulations of millions. I would hope Republicans get serious as well, and start investing their efforts in monitoring what their folks are doing for themselves, and speaking for themselves. My generation of Democrats prides itself on not being caught blindsided by either the Republicans, or their own side’s problems. The ears are to the ground, and we’re always, ALWAYS watching. Again, I would hope the Republicans do the same.
Remember, the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY.

When that happens, will you still be saying “always, ALWAYS” ?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: [Democrats] The ears are to the ground, and we’re always, ALWAYS watching.

Nothing blindly partisan about that, since it can’t possibly be true, eh?

Rarely is anything “always, ALWAYS” anything, or “NEVER”.
But those are the common pitfalls of blind partisan loyalties (at all costs).

Stephen Daugherty wrote: What I would also hope is that people realize that if they want influence, regardless of who’s in majority, rather than the impossible dream of control, then they must negotiate with the other side in good faith. The Republicans, by following the example of folks like Rush, simply cripple their ability to exercise power without the patience-burning methods of obstruction or the prospects of a regained majority. God knows how long it might take them to get it back. The new Democratic majorities may last as long as the Republican’s, or as long as their predecessor’s.
More wallowin’ in the partisan warfare.

Remember, the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY.
Power corrupts.
And voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Stephen Daugherty wrote: When you have somebody who can’t be gainsayed or offended without risking your re-election, he can be said to hold considerable power. Sure as clockwork, you see most Republicans crawl right back to Rush to kiss his rear end when they try to say that he’s not a big and powerful giant in the party, or that he shouldn’t be. It’s not merely a partisan charge. When the head of the party feels it necessary to say a mea culpa to Rush, informal as it is, he’s the guy setting the agenda for the party.
And the OTHER party doesn’t have anything equivalent?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Like I’ve said before, I write conversationally about my opinion, and about my beliefs. Not much way to do that if I observe your restrictions on what pronouns are appropriate. Stephen Daugherty would sound rather strange if he wrote like this conversationally in responding to d.a.n. Stephen Daugherty would also sound strange referring to his beliefs in the third person.
Still don’t get it, eh?

There were also 23 “I”s in this comment (www.watchblog.com/democrats/archives/006581.html#282985).

Stephen Daugherty wrote: That is, unless he took on a more impersonal, formalized approach to his posts…

No. It says much more than you know.
  • (1) tobeme.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/i-me-change-the-language-we-use-and-shift-from-ego-to-spirit/

  • (2) www.deepgenre.com/wordpress/craft/me-myself-and-i/

  • (3) resumesandcoverletters.com/tips_blog/2005/11/dont-overuse-the-word-i.html

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Which I won’t, because I see politics as very much of a social interaction, too complex to be reduced to perfect gems of slogans, philosophies, or whatever else. It’s an applied science, so to speak, so telling and hearing the stories about how things have actually transpired is much more helpful than just talking on about principles and such.
There’s good advice and something valuable to think about in those 3 articles above (especially number (1) above).
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Oh, there is a place for principles, don’t get me wrong. But principles have to be applied appropriately and justly to the real world, and if it doesn’t seem like they can be so applied, they should be rejected, regardless of the nobility of their intentions.
True. But have you given careful and adequate thought to the simple principle indicated in (1), (2), and (3) above. Do your self a favor and read those 3 articles.
kctim wrote: Yes, the left has won the last two elections, but they have not learned a damn thing.
Neither have learned much (if anything), and the decades deterioration of the economy, growing debt, and long-term abuses is ample evidence of it.

Voters would be wise to repeat what unhappy voters did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933 (One-Simple-Idea.com/CongressMakeUp_18455_2011.htm) as soon as possible, because the longer they wait, the more FOR-SALE, irresponsible, incompetent, and corrupt the incumbent politicians in Congress and severely bloated federal government will become; the larger the debt will grow; and the more likely we will see untenable debt, high inflation, and/or hyperinflation make a bigger mess of the economy.

Perhaps enough voters will be less apathetic, complacent, and blindly partisan when enough of the voters are deep in debt , jobless , homeless , and hungry ?

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at June 16, 2009 12:21 AM
Comment #283041

Dan-

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t identify with the Democrats with your cariacture portrayal of our values in mind. Hell, no self-respecting, real-world human being would. You’re spouting propaganda, meant to sour people on the different parties.

False.
Real-world human beings not only often identify and align with corrupt politicians, but empower and repeatedly reward Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.
And then there are those who reject anything non-Democrat:

Yes, they do identify with them. Why? Because the corrupt, good for nothing politicians don’t play the villains all that helpfully, so that it’s bloody obvious that they’re the bad guys.

It’s political daydreaming to suggest that people just toss folks on their ear because you say they must, because you have all this evidence that they should. Perhaps they’ll agree with you in general, but with no command of the facts concerning their particular folks, why should they listen to you? For all they know, they’ve got the good politicians, and their politicians do their best to convince them of that.

You can ride out in front with your big waving flag, expecting everybody to follow you, or you can consider that there’s more to it than that.

I think it’s foolhardy to expect people to kick out people for corruption they don’t know about, to expect them to hold politicians accountable for what they don’t know about.

That’s one of the things most modern Democrats are doing better. We know how our politicians vote, and we make sure others can find out. We keep tabs on investigations and other news items.

On the budget? You can talk in circles about its untenability, but we still have a country to run, an economy to repair, and many other priorities. I am absolutely for returning fiscal sanity to Washington, but I don’t believe that this is the sort of thing that can be made to stop on a dime without something else going wrong and complicating things.

It takes dedication and attention to detail to change the course of a system this big, and it can’t be done by one person alone.

You speak of it in such general terms all the time, and I feel that this is a message you’ve beaten the dead horse out of. It also happens to be one of those political truisms that you can always get people to agree to in principle, and which is difficult to get done in reality.

You would do better revealing different incidences of waste, of going into things into detail (hopefully with facts straight.) Investigative journalism, just about, rather than political sloganerring. Tell a story, don’t make people’s eyes bleed with charts and endless, pointless arguments.

You talked about the Auto bankruptcies. Well, here’s the thing: it’s a lot easier to repair things than rebuild them. Obama took the option of restructuring these companies and compelling them to move towards future technologies, rather than trying to make competitive companies all over from scratch, and losing all that lead time.

Additionally, you’re not really thinking about the problems inherent in a Bankruptcy. First of all, Creditors often get screwed, bondholders lose money, and if its Chapter 7, any company who depended upon that Business now is out of luck themselves, as well. Free market advocates have a tendency to neglect the all around effects of their policies.

As far as banks go? Well, the FDIC can handle a lot of the smaller concerns. What makes this not so much an option for the big banks is the repeal of Glass Steagall, and the consequences that had for entanglement of financial institutions. A lot of these big institutions that call themselves banks had all kinds of institutions attached, of which the bank was often the part that came out best in the economic crisis.

The FDIC does not have the authority to deal with those non-bank parts of the system, to make a clean government takeover, followed by a sale to private investors.

You can talk about what’s fair to competition, but I think you’re missing two important points: the system was already unfair to competition in terms of their large market share, which is what made these companies “too big to fail” And letting even more companies go under won’t help competition either. In fact, it might destroy the forum for competition altogether, with disastrous results for all concerned.

You’re operating off an oversimplified vision of what’s fair and unfair in a market.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: When you have somebody who can’t be gainsayed or offended without risking your re-election, he can be said to hold considerable power. Sure as clockwork, you see most Republicans crawl right back to Rush to kiss his rear end when they try to say that he’s not a big and powerful giant in the party, or that he shouldn’t be. It’s not merely a partisan charge. When the head of the party feels it necessary to say a mea culpa to Rush, informal as it is, he’s the guy setting the agenda for the party. And the OTHER party doesn’t have anything equivalent?

No. We never really let ourselves get rigid or inflexible enough that we allowed one pundit to have such inordinate pull. Officials can gainsay Paul Krugman, E.J. Dionne, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, or Rachel Maddow without risking their political futures.

As for my use of the first person singular?

Give me a break. I write conversationally, as if I were speaking to you. I offer my personal opinon as my personal opinion.

As for what Kctim said? The question is, whose being taught the lesson by the voters? The Democrats, who have won twice in a row, increasing their majorities each time? Or the Republicans, who have seen a bad political situation become worse?

I don’t see much use in berating people for their political tendencies. I reason anyways that people will change their political tendencies if folks give them enough decent, dependable facts that make them feel as if it is necessary.

My job, as a commentator and a contributing editor here is to offer my share of such facts, to critique the arguments and positions of those I disagree with in such a way that people have foundation for their choice to agree with me. It’s their choice whether they move that way. I can’t force it, and its useless for me to get offensive to do it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 16, 2009 1:22 PM
Comment #283047

kctim,

Bush failure was NOT a Democratic mantra for eight years…Bush failure was a foregone conclusion after he lied us into an unnecessary war, booted Katrina, etc., etc. You Bush apologists just keep hammering on it and eventually he’ll start to smell better, I’m sure.

Posted by: Marysdude at June 16, 2009 3:42 PM
Comment #283070
Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n - Yes, they do identify with them. Why? Because the corrupt, good for nothing politicians don’t play the villains all that helpfully, so that it’s bloody obvious that they’re the bad guys.
That’s the reason for the word “blind” in the phrase “blind partisan loyalties”.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s political daydreaming to suggest that people just toss folks on their ear because you say they must, because you have all this evidence that they should. Perhaps they’ll agree with you in general, but with no command of the facts concerning their particular folks, why should they listen to you? For all they know, they’ve got the good politicians, and their politicians do their best to convince them of that.
Right. Until that becomes too painful.

The thing is, voters will most likely do just that (i.e. toss incumbents out) when enough of them are jobless , deep into debt , homeless , and hungry.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can ride out in front with your big waving flag, expecting everybody to follow you, or you can consider that there’s more to it than that.
There isn’t much more to it than that. Cheaters always want to over-complicate, obscure, twiste, convolute, and obfuscate things to substitute for the absence of anything substantive.

Something similar to 1928, 1931, and 1933 is on the way, when the majority of voters are jobless , bankrupt, homeless , and hungry, and enough voters finally figure out that repeatedly rewarding incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates ain’t only not working, but diggin’ that hole deeper and deeper … similar to most of your circular, convoluted arguments.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think it’s foolhardy to expect people to kick out people for corruption they don’t know about, to expect them to hold politicians accountable for what they don’t know about.
That’s really funny. I see more twisted, circular pretzel imitations and gobblegygook in the works.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: That’s one of the things most modern Democrats are doing better.
That’s even funnier.

Please tell us all about the IN-PARTY.
But what will you do when they are the OUT-PARTY again.
The way things are goin’ , that may not be too far off from now.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: We know how our politicians vote, and we make sure others can find out. We keep tabs on investigations and other news items.
That’s funny too. You’re quite a comedian.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: On the budget? You can talk in circles about its untenability, but we still have a country to run, an economy to repair, and many other priorities.
AAAAHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh … so you too think there’s no problem? I think this administration and Congress are using the previous administration as an excuse to do the same, if not setting new records. And that is why your beloved IN-PARTY will become the OUT-PARTY. When will enough voters catch on to that game? When will you catch on to that game?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I am absolutely for returning fiscal sanity to Washington, but I don’t believe that this is the sort of thing that can be made to stop on a dime without something else going wrong and complicating things.
Excuses, excuses, excuses.

Excuses are like assholes.
Everyone has one and they all stink.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: It takes dedication and attention to detail to change the course of a system this big, and it can’t be done by one person alone.
True. But to hear you and some others tell it, this adminstration and Congress will make reforms.

3 years from now, you will most likely be very disappointed by the few (if any) reforms that actually come about.
Why? Because there is still very little accountability.
Power corrupts, and it is folly to believe those that are unaccountable will do the right thing.
If you think the majority of the unaccountable will do the right thing, then you are the one who is truly delusional.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You speak of it in such general terms all the time, and I feel that this is a message you’ve beaten the dead horse out of. It also happens to be one of those political truisms that you can always get people to agree to in principle, and which is difficult to get done in reality.
True is true, and the truth hurts. That’s what is so frustrating to the blindly partisan. They are doomed and they don’t yet realize it.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: You would do better revealing different incidences of waste, of going into things into detail (hopefully with facts straight.) Investigative journalism, just about, rather than political sloganerring. Tell a story, don’t make people’s eyes bleed with charts and endless, pointless arguments.
Like this …
Stephen Daugherty wrote: You talked about the Auto bankruptcies. Well, here’s the thing: it’s a lot easier to repair things than rebuild them.
False.

It is very often cheaper to replace things than repair them.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Obama took the option of restructuring these companies and compelling them to move towards future technologies, rather than trying to make competitive companies all over from scratch, and losing all that lead time.
As if that is the function of government? So, you want a nanny state, eh?

Losers should not be propped up by the federal government.
But you obviously disagree?
What we have here is an obvious difference in philosophy.
Bad and crooked banks should fail.
Bad corporations should fail.
Tax payers should not be propping up those that are obviously corrupt (AIG), incompetent (AIG, GM, Chrysler), and greedy (bad banks).

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Additionally, you’re not really thinking about the problems inherent in a Bankruptcy. First of all, Creditors often get screwed, bondholders lose money, and if its Chapter 7, any company who depended upon that Business now is out of luck themselves, as well. Free market advocates have a tendency to neglect the all around effects of their policies.
As it should be.

But some people think the government should protect them from their own irresponsibility, incomptence, and greed?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: As far as banks go? Well, the FDIC can handle a lot of the smaller concerns. What makes this not so much an option for the big banks is the repeal of Glass Steagall, and the consequences that had for entanglement of financial institutions. A lot of these big institutions that call themselves banks had all kinds of institutions attached, of which the bank was often the part that came out best in the economic crisis.
This is a very good example of twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook.

The problem is, many of these companies and banks have failed anyway. There are currently 1,817 weak banks and thrifts (www.moneyandmarkets.com:80/files/documents/X-List.htm) with D+ or worse ratings, and there are 871 weak insurers with D+ or worse ratings (all in the U.S.).
This mess is far from over, and trying to avoid the inevitable is only going to make it much worse later.
The fundamental economic conditions are dismal (One-Simple-Idea.com/NeverWorse.htm) and the 10 major abuses still exist (One-Simple-Idea.com/Abuses.htm).

Stephen Daugherty wrote: The FDIC does not have the authority to deal with those non-bank parts of the system, to make a clean government takeover, followed by a sale to private investors.
Of course not. Why should they. See … that is yet another weak (if not totally aburd) obfuscation to try to prop up the nanny state. However, we can’t all live at the expense of everyone else. It simply doesn’t work. It makes me wonder if you are quite possibly not receiving, or have received government funds, welfare, etc. If so, that is most likely a conflict of interest.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can talk about what’s fair to competition, but I think you’re missing two important points: the system was already unfair to competition in terms of their large market share, which is what made these companies “too big to fail” And letting even more companies go under won’t help competition either. In fact, it might destroy the forum for competition altogether, with disastrous results for all concerned.
Nonsense.

You have no proof of that.

FORD didn’t take handouts from the government.
Good thing too … if you dance with the devil … as GM and other recipients of federal funny money are finding out.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’re operating off an oversimplified vision of what’s fair and unfair in a market.
Funny how some people do the very thing they acuse others of?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for my use of the first person singular?
You obviously didn’t read any of those articles.

You obviosly don’t understand it.
Unfortunately, there is something very fundamental missing …

  • (1) tobeme.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/i-me-change-the-language-we-use-and-shift-from-ego-to-spirit/

  • (2) www.deepgenre.com/wordpress/craft/me-myself-and-i/

  • (3) resumesandcoverletters.com/tips_blog/2005/11/dont-overuse-the-word-i.html

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Give me a break. I write conversationally, as if I were speaking to you. I offer my personal opinon as my personal opinion.
HMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmm … that’s not very encouraging.

What escapes many is that there is only a few basic reasons why some people over-use “I” and “me”.
You are closed minded to it, so nothing changes.

Any way, you may be improving.
There were only 12 “I”s in that commnet (#283041).

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at June 16, 2009 10:37 PM
Comment #283103

Dan-
People have their reasons for believing as they do. It’s fine if you disregard them, so long as you’re comfortable with being persuasive only with luck or with people who’ve already joined your choir of supporters.

Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with the fact that most people that need persuasion believe something different, see things through another set of lenses. It’s only natural. If it was easy for such a person to agree with your or I about what they think, they’d have already done it on their own. Our job here is the persuasion of those who as of this point think differently.

I don’t program my sites with flashing lights. Does that communicate urgency, or just your feeling that things are urgent? There is a difference between getting a person to understand how you feel, and getting a person to feel that themselves. A person cannot disregard their own feelings so easily as somebody elses. I try and write more subtly so that others come to the conclusion as well. I have found it much better to disprove a point with direct evidence than the expression of my own personal doubt.

My personal doubts will only be taken seriously by somebody who already shares those doubts, at some level. Evidence of the falsity of a claim goes a lot further to engendering doubt about a claim than mere personal protests.

It works better if you present people with quotes from a source, when you cite a source directly.

You have a habit of forcing people to go through your website, which is a problem, because people don’t necessarily see you as an authority to start with. That’s why I’ve almost never posted a link to my own webpage in posts as a supporting authority. I might reference my own past arguments by linking back to a post, but I don’t do that to appeal to my own authority on a matter.

I try not to reference my own arguments too much. People are intelligent, and after you repeat an argument enough, they will remember it. In fact, it may work against you, as people skip through parts they’ve seen before, and often skip over new arguments skimming past the old.

There’s no need to waste space with the arguments you’ve already made. It’s almost like you’re expecting people to say “Oh, you’ve repeated this for the thirty-fourth time? I guess we’ve reached the threshold and we’re required to agree”. No. If you repeat an argument with that intent, you’re not likely to gain any further converts. Also, in the age of hypertext, it’s completely unnecessary.

Moving on from this textual critique, let me address the issue of the speed of change in the budget.

It’s easy in the abstract, especially if you’re willing to chunk whole departments left and right, to come up with ways to save money. But there are a number of complicating issues. Whatever moralizing one does about the situation, there are nonetheless effects that policies have on others that create potential costs or pitfalls for budget cuts.

Cut the budget of an enforcing agency, and you may pay more on the back end as waste and fraud or pollution and consumer safety problems get people killed, paralyze industries, and cause large economic collapses.

Cut the budget of the military, and you might end up shorthanded, or ill-equipped.

Cut the budget on entitlements? Well, you’ll hear about it.

Cut the budget on state programs, and you’ll send dozens scrambling for money.

Cut the budget on science, and you might see the country fall behind those governments that make the investment.

But of course there is waste, duplication, streamlining, and other things that can be done. Or, God forbid, we could tax more money to pay for what we’re getting. I know you as a good independent MUST be open minded on that count, right?

We could take care of healthcare, engineering a reduction in costs through streamlining and elimination of paperwork. We could re-regulate to prevent economic disasters which destroy revenues. It won’t be easy or simple, but it must be done. You present my argument as if I’m saying it can’t be done, or shouldn’t be done. I’m simply trying not to be naive about it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 17, 2009 10:40 AM
Comment #283111

Dan-
On the subject of Ford: Don’t be so quick to paint them as free market heroes.

I don’t see how a Domestic monopoly benefits consumers. Three big car companies was bad enough, competition minimized by the large market share each corporation had, stifling innovation, keeping prices high. But if Ford was all we had here? What incentive would they have to excel? If the political pressure to keep three alive was high, how about the last remaining one? No, better to keep the big three alive, but make them globally competitive.

We’ve already seen some reforms come out of Congress. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that Democrats will settle for less than they were promised. You know, it would help if people actually visited sites like Daily Kos, instead of just using them as a punchline for snarks about liberal bloggers. There is plenty of debate and dissent going on the issues. Now folks might differ on how Congress is brought to do what people want, but there’s little debate that we want reforms, and won’t settle for the status quo.

It is very often cheaper to replace things than repair them.

Yeah, that’s why we run our family car into the ground rather than give it an oil change! ;-)

When Bush disbanded the Iraqi army, it turned into a major hindrance for the US war and reconstruction effort there, and a major boon for the insurgents. It was much easier to keep that Army, currently in operation, and reform it, than to just do away with it, and then try to reassemble an army for that nation’s defense.

It’s a lot easier to put in fire codes than to rebuild a city every time one building goes up in flames. It’s a lot easier to reorganize existing global competitors, than to recreate one by government or, worse yet, wait for one to spontaneously emerge.

I don’t want a nanny state, where the car companies require constant attention. I want us to get these companies back into shape well enough to exist on their own, and then leave them to their own devices again. I don’t believe in Government running companies long term. I believe in government intervening when, for example, an industry is at threat, and the alternative is letting a critical part of America’s business infrastructure fail.

Dan- On the subject of Ford: Don’t be so quick to paint them as free market heroes.

I don’t see how a Domestic monopoly benefits consumers. Three big car companies was bad enough, competition minimized by the large market share each corporation had, stifling innovation, keeping prices high. But if Ford was all we had here? What incentive would they have to excel? If the political pressure to keep three alive was high, how about the last remaining one? No, better to keep the big three alive, but make them globally competitive.

We’ve already seen some reforms come out of Congress. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that Democrats will settle for less than they were promised. You know, it would help if people actually visited sites like Daily Kos, instead of just using them as a punchline for snarks about liberal bloggers. There is plenty of debate and dissent going on the issues. Now folks might differ on how Congress is brought to do what people want, but there’s little debate that we want reforms, and won’t settle for the status quo.

It is very often cheaper to replace things than repair them.

Yeah, that’s why we run our family car into the ground rather than give it an oil change! ;-)

When Bush disbanded the Iraqi army, it turned into a major hindrance for the US war and reconstruction effort there, and a major boon for the insurgents. It was much easier to keep that Army, currently in operation, and reform it, than to just do away with it, and then try to reassemble an army for that nation’s defense.

It’s a lot easier to put in fire codes than to rebuild a city every time one building goes up in flames. It’s a lot easier to reorganize existing global competitors, than to recreate one by government or, worse yet, wait for one to spontaneously emerge.

I don’t want a nanny state, where the car companies require constant attention. I want us to get these companies back into shape well enough to exist on their own, and then leave them to their own devices again. I don’t believe in Government running companies long term. I believe in government intervening when, for example, an industry is at threat, and the alternative is letting a critical part of America’s business infrastructure fail.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Additionally, you’re not really thinking about the problems inherent in a Bankruptcy. First of all, Creditors often get screwed, bondholders lose money, and if its Chapter 7, any company who depended upon that Business now is out of luck themselves, as well. Free market advocates have a tendency to neglect the all around effects of their policies.
As it should be.

Preservation of the rewards and punishments of the market under most circumstances are fine, but the collapse this last year was so pervasive and artificial that letting it take its natural course would impose tons of collateral damage as its punishment. Nobody would loan money, America’s businesses would be unable to operate well, even if they were doing everything right in the market, consumption would crash as individual found themselves unable to attain financing.

That doesn’t sound like a market correction to me, that sounds like a meltdown, where the value of the lesson taught by the disaster gets drowned in the excessive side effects and complication. The damage has spread beyond the guilty to harm the innocent. That’s no way to run an economy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 17, 2009 12:27 PM
Comment #283138
Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- People have their reasons for believing as they do. It’s fine if you disregard them, so long as you’re comfortable with being persuasive only with luck or with people who’ve already joined your choir of supporters.
Funny how some people do the very thing they accuse others of.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with the fact that most people that need persuasion believe something different, see things through another set of lenses. It’s only natural.
Not yet.

But they will.
Eventually, the majority of voters will figure it out, as did the majority of voters in 1929, 1931, and 1933 when they voted out 108, 123, and 206 members of Congress (respectively).

It’s only a matter of time … when the lack of accountability, and too much corruption, arrogance, and incomptetence finally becomes too painful.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: If it was easy for such a person to agree with your or I about what they think, they’d have already done it on their own. Our job here is the persuasion of those who as of this point think differently.
Right. But it’s easy to fuel and wallow in the partisan-warfare when the majority of readers are of the similar frame of mind.

In that sense, such fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the partisan warfare is no different than what Rush Limbaugh does.
The only true difference between the left and right is the extremes both go to:

  • Extreme #1: One extreme wants regressive taxation, unfettered capitalism, little (if any) government regulations, and freedom to explore and wallow in every manifestation of unchecked greed.

  • Extreme #2: The other extreme wants a nanny-state with citizens increasingly dependent on the government; with massive cradle-to-grave government programs (which are usually severely mismanaged) that nurture a sense of entitlement and dependency on government; wants to grow government ever larger (despite the already current nightmare proportions); rewards failure and laziness; and perpetuates the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone else.

Other than that, there’s little (if any) difference.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t program my sites with flashing lights. Does that communicate urgency, or just your feeling that things are urgent?
Yes, it indicates urgency. Wow, did you figure that out all by yourself? Is that the best you can do; resorting to focus on flashing lights?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: There is a difference between getting a person to understand how you feel, and getting a person to feel that themselves. A person cannot disregard their own feelings so easily as somebody elses. I try and write more subtly so that others come to the conclusion as well.
Really?

Like this

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n , First, you don’t respect people’s right to have other opinions… .

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n , You‘re wasting your time.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n, … You had better be prepared …

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I‘ve tried to do you the respect of not merely flatly contradicting you

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you want to badmouth us …

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: You had better come at us with good evidence …

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n, … we’ve told you no, we aren’t satisfied with facts you‘ve provided.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: For me, that means putting opinions like yours to the test …

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: you‘re trying to win in front of me and everybody else …

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Stop flinging rhetoric at me and calling it facts.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can get all patronizing about that, …
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Facts, Dan. Facts. Not your opinions, not your conclusions, not your claims, facts. …

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: You‘re flinging an ad hominem argument at me …

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: You just want people to bow down to your case, as if they should be obligated to think in your terms.
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: To be frank with you, you‘re no better than the people you criticize.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Jeez man, if that’s respect, I’d hate to get on your bad side!

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Your attacks on the fact that I do have some party association, have done little to convince me that I should abandon them.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n , Now you‘re trying my patience …

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: To be brutally honest, you‘re not telling me much about modern politicians I don’t already know.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I see it through the eyes of somebody who knows all about technology and the limitations of design.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I consider everything I write carefully. My backspace and delete buttons get good workouts before you ever see my prose.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I chose to be like this. However, I don’t like doing things in a way that I know is arbitrary. It offends me. My comments about third parties are valid.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I have a broader definition of what voter education means, I mean just straight forward learning and being told about what the people in congress are doing… . My bias is obvious.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Again, I‘m going to tell you, don’t accuse people of being hypocrites without giving them the chance to demonstrate their behavior.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Stop trying to play political tricks to force your politics down other people’s throats.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It might help you if you considered that people’s dislike of your prose might be your fault rather than theirs.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Why do you persist in trash talking me?

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I would advise you to be one of those people mature enough to realize that they are not the only whose voice and opinion matters, and that other’s votes and other’s views must be considered as well.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … so I’m telling you, leave him out of our discussion. Don’t throw a whole of silly denials my way, just let him be, or I will take this up with the adminstrators.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: So, I’m not all that impressed by somebody simply posting the opinions of their friends and fellow travellers trying to prove me wrong by the fact of their expression of their negative opinions. I’ve been tagged team before.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It amuses me somewhat to see the lengths you go to avoid the admission of what must clear to most other people reading our exchange: your contempt for me, for my disagreement with you

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’ve outlasted many people who thought they could beat me down with personal potshots. I take pride in it, that I stay calm, focused, and able to argue rationally.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I challenge you to show me the respect of arguing point to point, rather than just declaring every argument I make unworthy in pre-emption of ever having a serious discussion about those points.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I have been trying my best not to let my end degenerate as far as yours has.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: You seem more concerned about quoting soundbites than presenting evidence to be subject to examination by others.

  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Quit with the numbers, while you’re at it. They’re just browbeating, …

Yep, that’s real subtle, eh?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I have found it much better to disprove a point with direct evidence than the expression of my own personal doubt.
Right. Like you did with proving mysterious expiration time-limits and same-subject requirements in the single sentence of Article V, despite no evidence anywhere of any expiration time-limits or same-subject requirements anywhere in:
  • (1) any part of the Constitution?
  • (2) any court case?
  • (3) any law?
  • (4) any part of the Federalist papers?
  • (5) the single sentence in Article V?
  • … which didn’t seem very convincing to these folks who characterized it as follows (www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/006553.html#282625)

    • David R. Remer wrote: Sorry, Stephen D[augherty], but your comments fail to reference Article V’s language stipulating concurrent call for convention, which of course, was impossible when the Constitution was drafted. And concurrency being impossible at the time of the drafting of the Constitution, mandates an understanding of the Article as having NO concurrency requirement for calling forth an Article V convention.
      Your not so subtle introduction of the word “together” referring to concurrency of call for convention by 3/4 of the states, is a fabrication which does not exist in the language of the Article.
      And that means d.a.n’s reference to your comment’s obfuscation, twisting and construction, is valid.

    • Roy Ellis wrote: In spite of all the intellectual dishonesty espoused by those opposing AVC we know we are being denied a Constitutional right. It’s there in black and white.

    • Rodney Brown wrote: … He also was a believer in The Founding Fathers and the constitution and today you better believe he’d be fighting for Article V!

    • Byron DeLear wrote: Point being: ideas live on; amendment proposals live on — the proof’s right below you if you care to see the historical track record refuting your assertion that legitimate action can only spring forth from currently assembled state legislatures, and from only living and seated legislators. Poppycock.
      … You [Stephen Daugherty] should help realize this people’s convention; it strengthens the democratic values and engaged electorate that I know we both support.

    • John DeHerrera wrote: The question is whether the applications are valid or not. Show a law which shows how they are expired—not an opinion, but a law. Until you do that your position is bogus.

    • Bill Walker wrote: The fact is Mr. Daugherty defeats himself in his argument and thus requires no further comment once this hypocrisy is pointed out.

    • d.a.n wrote: d.a.n wrote: No amout of twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook will change the truth.

    Yet, the evidence was real convincing, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: My personal doubts will only be taken seriously by somebody who already shares those doubts, at some level. Evidence of the falsity of a claim goes a lot further to engendering doubt about a claim than mere personal protests.
    Funny how some people do the very thing they accuse others of.

    After all, whose comments and articles are constantly fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the circular, divisive, distracting partisan-warfare, and railing against anything non-Democrat?
    The only difference is that you have a lot of company, but that doesn’t make it right.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It works better if you present people with quotes from a source, when you cite a source directly.
    I do that all the time … more than most.

    You have a habit of forcing people to go through your website, which is a problem, because people don’t necessarily see you as an authority to start with.
    False.

    Many links go directly to other sources.
    And almost all links on my web-pages go directly to other independent sources.
    There are over 100,000 page hits per month for One-Simple-Idea.com, and over 120,000 page hits per month for FOAVC.org, thousands of views per month for VOIDnow.org.
    So, it doesn’t seem to matter to many people, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: That’s why I’ve almost never posted a link to my own webpage in posts as a supporting authority. I might reference my own past arguments by linking back to a post, but I don’t do that to appeal to my own authority on a matter.
    As stated before, almost all links on my web-pages go directly to other independent sources.

    Any way, doesn’t that sound a bit strange when you don’t appear to understand the over-use of “I” and “me?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I try not to reference my own arguments too much. People are intelligent, and after you repeat an argument enough, they will remember it. In fact, it may work against you, as people skip through parts they’ve seen before, and often skip over new arguments skimming past the old.
    Funny how some people do the very thing they accuse others of, eh?

    So, twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook is better?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: There’s no need to waste space with the arguments you’ve already made. It’s almost like you’re expecting people to say “Oh, you’ve repeated this for the thirty-fourth time? I guess we’ve reached the threshold and we’re required to agree”. No. If you repeat an argument with that intent, you’re not likely to gain any further converts. Also, in the age of hypertext, it’s completely unnecessary.
    Again, funny how some people do the very thing they accuse others of, eh?

    And you never repeat yourself?
    What is the constant fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the circular, divisive, distracting partisan-warfare and railing against anything non-Democrat?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Moving on from this textual critique, let me address the issue of the speed of change in the budget. It’s easy in the abstract, especially if you’re willing to chunk whole departments left and right, to come up with ways to save money. But there are a number of complicating issues. Whatever moralizing one does about the situation, there are nonetheless effects that policies have on others that create potential costs or pitfalls for budget cuts. Cut the budget of an enforcing agency, and you may pay more on the back end as waste and fraud or pollution and consumer safety problems get people killed, paralyze industries, and cause large economic collapses. Cut the budget of the military, and you might end up shorthanded, or ill-equipped. Cut the budget on entitlements? Well, you’ll hear about it. Cut the budget on state programs, and you’ll send dozens scrambling for money. Cut the budget on science, and you might see the country fall behind those governments that make the investment.
    HHHHMMMMmmmmmmmmm … and that’s not repetition?

    Didn’t you already say all of that above?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But of course there is waste, duplication, streamlining, and other things that can be done.
    Yes. A LOT of waste, duplication, corruption, and Congress giving themselves an automatic raise 10 of the last 12 years, plus $93,000 per Congress person for petty cash and expenses, while U.S. Troops risk life and limb, go without adequate medical care, promised benefits, and have to do 2, 3, 4+ tours in Iraq and Afghganistan. Cha-Ching!
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Or, God forbid, we could tax more money to pay for what we’re getting.
    A fairer tax system would most likely accomplish that, instead of the regressive tax system we have now.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I know you as a good independent MUST be open minded on that count, right?
    Partly. We don’t need more taxes. We need fair taxes. Even Warren Buffet admits that the tax system is regressive.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: We could take care of healthcare, engineering a reduction in costs through streamlining and elimination of paperwork.
    True, if it is a national, non-profit health-insurance system where all are eligible.

    False, if it includes for-profit insurance companies.

    The danger is that the federal government will run the healthcare system as badly as it runs Social Security and Medicare.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: We could re-regulate to prevent economic disasters which destroy revenues. It won’t be easy or simple, but it must be done. You present my argument as if I’m saying it can’t be done, or shouldn’t be done. I’m simply trying not to be naive about it.
    That’s because you don’t see any pork-barrel, and you make excuses for pork-barrel …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n-I don’t see porkbarrel there, little projects just meant to appeal to a base back home.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- On the subject of Ford: Don’t be so quick to paint them as free market heroes.
    Ford hasn’t taken money yet, and until then, they are a sight better than GM and Chrysler.

    Does that bother you that they aren’t on the government teet?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t see how a Domestic monopoly benefits consumers. Three big car companies was bad enough, competition minimized by the large market share each corporation had, stifling innovation, keeping prices high.
    Nobody can really be that inept, can they?

    Do you know how many Nissans, Toyotas, KIA’s, Hyundai, Honda, etc.
    Many so-called foreign car makers are possibly more domestic than GM, Ford, and Chrysler:
    seekingalpha.com/article/139726-foreign-carmakers-more-domestic-than-detroit-s-big-three

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But if Ford was all we had here?
    See above. The premise of your argument is severely flawed from the start.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What incentive would they have to excel?
    Have you not heard of Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, KIA, etc.?

    Seems like you need to do a little research, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If the political pressure to keep three alive was high, how about the last remaining one? No, better to keep the big three alive, but make them globally competitive.
    False. You want to reward failure. That’s what a nanny state is.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: We’ve already seen some reforms come out of Congress. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that Democrats will settle for less than they were promised.
    Ha!

    Funny how some people are doing the very thing they accuse others of.
    Blind partisan loyalties are like that.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You know, it would help if people actually visited sites like Daily Kos, instead of just using them as a punchline for snarks about liberal bloggers. There is plenty of debate and dissent going on the issues. Now folks might differ on how Congress is brought to do what people want, but there’s little debate that we want reforms, and won’t settle for the status quo.
    Daily Kos? ! ? ! ? Sure. That site is clearly DEMOCRAT and balanced. Of course. If you’re a DEMOCRAT, eh?

    And you think that’s balanced?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
  • d.a.n wrote: It is very often cheaper to replace things than repair them.
  • Yeah, that’s why we run our family car into the ground rather than give it an oil change! ;-)
    Bad example.

    Try to get a VCR repaired for less than the price of a new one.
    Try to get a 30” TV repaired for less than the price of a new one.
    Try to get a dryer repaired for less than the price of a new one.
    Try to get a toaster repaired for less than the price of a new one.
    Try to get a ceiling fan repaired for less than the price of a new one.
    Try to get a weed-eater repaired for less than the price of a new one.
    Try to get a cell-phone repaired for less than the price of a new one.
    Try to get a lot of things repaired for less than the price of a new one.
    Sure, an automobile may be worth repairing, but even automobiles eventually become cheaper to replace than repair.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: When Bush disbanded the Iraqi army, it turned into a major hindrance for the US war and reconstruction effort there, and a major boon for the insurgents. It was much easier to keep that Army, currently in operation, and reform it, than to just do away with it, and then try to reassemble an army for that nation’s defense.
    Maybe. But that’s not a great example, since the government funds armies, and many other things, and they simply print the money they need.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s a lot easier to put in fire codes than to rebuild a city every time one building goes up in flames.
    True. But your examples are extreme. Some things are more economical to repair than replace.

    My comment was simply that many things are less expensive to replace than repair, and you then tried all sorts of obfuscated extremes to prove the contrary.
    Funny!

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s a lot easier to reorganize existing global competitors, than to recreate one by government or, worse yet, wait for one to spontaneously emerge.
    ! ? ! ? !

    I don’t want a nanny state, where the car companies require constant attention.
    Your comments say otherwise. You don’t even seem to be aware of local competition for cars built here with U.S. labor.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I want us to get these companies back into shape well enough to exist on their own, and then leave them to their own devices again.
    Yet, you seem upset that FORD has not yet received tax payer dollars to keep afloat?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t believe in Government running companies long term.
    Long term or short term. Either is meddling that hurts competition.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I believe in government intervening when, for example, an industry is at threat, and the alternative is letting a critical part of America’s business infrastructure fail.
    Even though there is ample competition?

    Your numerous comments reveal a big goverment type of philosophy.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at June 17, 2009 10:08 PM
    Comment #283156

    Dan-
    I don’t believe in inevitable political outcomes, no matter who they favor. There’s more give in the system than you give credit for. When there isn’t, that’s when you see the big snaps of change from one party to another.

    If you consider the effects of computerized gerrymandering, the changes of these past few years are gargantuan.

    The question is:

    1) Is there a party waiting in the wings with the back bench capable of absorbing that many defections from the main party?

    2) Are people’s sentiments running that much against the current party?

    I don’t think the answer to either question is yes. That could change, but I think the Democrats are much smarter about his than the Republicans, who saw fit to run their party into the ground by continuing to advocate unpopular policies. The Democrats are on the high side of many polls as far as their policies and policy directions go.

    As far as Article V goes, I didn’t compose my arguments with the approval of FOAVC advocates, who constitute the vast majority of that list of yours (hell, I even think you have their founder, Bill Walker, in there), in mind. Their positive opinion of it does not matter to the soundness of my facts or the validity of my inference. Why would it?

    As for page hits? A person can visit a page without agreement with its opinions. I’ve done so several times. But then again, perhaps the majority of the people are in favor of your views.

    Well that still means roughly a few thousand page hits a day in a country of three hundred million people. By comparison, millions visit DailyKos every day. Do you bow, then, to their superior wisdom?

    You cite my repetition in one passage.

    But I was talking about your repetition across all your posts. One instance of rhetorical repetition, meant to make a point in a pleasing way, does not equate to literally thousands of comments that all say the same thing.

    Do you think you’re getting through better for not taking into account that people might be smart enough to understand you the first hundred times?

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 18, 2009 8:45 AM
    Comment #283158

    And you don’t think there is repetition across all of your circular, obfuscated posts?

    And your articles aren’t constantly fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the petty partisan warfare?

    Sure, Daily Kos gets many more hits.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You know, it would help if people actually visited sites like Daily Kos, instead of just using them as a punchline for snarks about liberal bloggers. There is plenty of debate and dissent going on the issues. Now folks might differ on how Congress is brought to do what people want, but there’s little debate that we want reforms, and won’t settle for the status quo.

    The status quo will exist, until it becomes too painful, and that ain’t likely to happen by repeatedly rewarding incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.

    And there are many more Democrats and Republicans (when combined) than Independents.
    And that’s the problem … at least, until such blind partisan loyalties finally become too painful (as in years 1929, 1931, and 1933).

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: 1) Is there a party waiting in the wings with the back bench capable of absorbing that many defections from the main party? 2) Are people’s sentiments running that much against the current party?
    Not yet.

    But don’t forget what happened in years 1929, 1931, and 1933.
    Your disdain in your comments for anything non-DEMOCRAT is all too clear:

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … as I don’t like to hear people get down on my party, …

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … because then your [independent/3rd] parties get blamed for sending things in a lousy direction.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: How many people curse the Green party for George W. Bush (43) getting elected?

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans have the choice, which I gladly let them have, of doing scuzzy things so they can make the Democrats look bad …

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Being spoilers [independent/3rd party voters] only ensures being fringe…

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I do think voters should ally with Democrats.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I‘ve been rather cross about your tendency to call the new [110th] congress a do-nothing congress … {Why? What did the 110th do-nothing Congress accomplish since 7-NOV-2006 ? And the 111th Congress consists of 86.9% of the 110th Congress.}

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think you’re underestimating the results of this last election. {We’ll see, since 85%-to-90% of incumbent politicians were re-elected.)

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t disdain third parties.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s what Democrats like myself had to do, after all, to take back the majorities and the White House.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats have significantly shifted the balance of power, despite all the barriers the Republicans put in place to keep their power.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: My generation of Democrats prides itself on not being caught blindsided by either the Republicans, or their own side’s problems. The ears [of Democrats] are to the ground, and we’re always, ALWAYS watching. {Always? Then why does the IN-PARTY “always” become the OUT-PARTY?}

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: And yes, I obviously want voters to vote for Democrats. {Really? No kiddin’?}

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote {NEW!, which is ironic indeed}: … why do you uncritically accept partisan rhetoric …?

    It may take a long time, but excessive corruption, waste, bloat, and dysfunction leads to pain which will eventually lead to unhappy voters.

    BTW, short as your last comment was, it contained 7 “I“s in about 11 sentences.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at June 18, 2009 9:03 AM
    Comment #283160

    Dan-
    Seven “I“‘s. It puzzles me how you can dare to even think of critizing others about partisan warfare when that is how petty your arguments become.

    You think, that in your cause, you are justified in tearing apart your opponent, of direspecting them terribly.

    But then you talk about how horrible partisan warfare is.

    What is it, exactly, that you’re doing? Fighting a partisan battle, with tons of distracting arguments, and avoiding my main point, which is, surprisingly enough, that we shouldn’t fight such battles merely to score political points, while practical concerns like the state of our economy suffer as a result.

    I don’t really care all that much any more about what you have to say, because I’ve heard it all before, and you haven’t seen fit to write anything different for the last couple years. You don’t seem to trust people to think for themselves, or to avoid disasters.

    I think such trust is in short supply, and the first thing to get past is the relentless, needless, overbearing pessimism regarding voters.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 18, 2009 9:28 AM
    Comment #283177

    Marysdude-
    My sense is that this is the consequence of treating politics like a war. They don’t care so much about legacies as they do about winning the current political battle.

    It’s not that Republicans are predisposed to being impractical. I think there are plenty of practical Republicans. But the lesson drilled into people’s heads over and over again is that government itself is impractical by its nature. They don’t feel like they’re hurting anything by trying to short circuit matters here, because they think things won’t turn out well anyways.

    That pessimism, though, is part of what got Republicans, as a party, in the bad position they are in. It meant that they felt that improving the quality of government was futile, even counterproductive. So they didn’t make the reforms necessary to prevent corruption. They don’t bother to keep the cronies out, given that their aim is to reduce many of those functions of government to largely ceremonial roles anyway, if any at all.

    I think it’s interesting that the pundits and politicians of the GOP continue to push tax cuts, in spite of their failure to produce fiscal results. No major tax cut, not Reagan’s, not Bush’s, not Dubya’s have resulted in the claimed matching of revenues with spending. And it’s not merely a matter of spending being increased, though that never helps. It’s a matter of the basic premise being flawed.

    The response to the deficits among those politicians seems rather cynical : they claim the purpose is to starve the beast- reduce the size of the federal government by using drops in revenue to necessitate spending cuts.

    Of course, this doesn’t happen. Why doesn’t this happen? Because Republicans want to get re-elected. Because most people are actually liberal or moderate in their views, and do not have basic ideological objections to additional spending. And even conservatives won’t object too loudly to Congresscritters bringing federal dollars home.

    The Focus on Deficits has one purpose, and one purpose alone: stifle liberalism. Not because Conservativism actually successfully deals with deficits, but because they want to distract people from their present concerns, and drum up fear about debt and national bankruptcy, at a time when the spending might actually do some good.

    I know Republicans and Conservatives treat spending like a dirty word, but they did it too, and much more ineffectively. Ineffective spending, spending that isn’t matched by raised taxes, is what makes government inefficient, what makes it run deficits.

    The government spent a lot on physics research, on miniaturization, on space exploration. It created the initial internet, and the World Wide Web we now enjoy is a product of Europe’s government funded enterprise, CERN.

    Let’s see where we’d be fiscally, if it weren’t for the efficiencies and opportunities created by the internet. Let’s see where GPS would be, if the Government hadn’t launched those taxpayer funded satellites. And where would the modern computing industry be without the drive to miniaturize electronics, the development of materials, and other benefits of the space program?

    The conservatives have theories about how government spending is bad for the economy. We have facts about how it’s been of benefit.

    If we get healthcare costs under control, government funded healthcare like Medicare and Medicaid will be less of a problem for future budgets. If we don’t spend what’s necessary to deal with it, the system will remain largely inefficient. If we get energy costs under control, that means greater efficiency for economic activity in general. If we improve the quality of our grid, upgrade it with current technology, we’ll be better able to take advantage of energy sources which will never run out.

    The Republican’s approach to fiscal matters is not moderate, not productive, not even all that effective. Look at their budget proposals, at their 300 billion dollar a year tax cuts. Their approach to Democrat’s proposals, though, is that of a beancounter wanting to frustrate his opposition with deaths of a thousand cuts, all with the war cry “We can’t afford it!”

    In truth, what we cannot afford to do is let things remain as they are. If we had not been so future-oriented in the past, creating the first national network, jump-starting improvements in the size, speed, and power requirements of electronics, funding research into new materials and manufacturing processes, we would not be nearly so strong economically as we were before, and that would mean that we could not afford what we afford now.

    This passivity in the face of the future is what’s holding this country back. I know we will have to strike a necessary balance between keeping the deficit moderated and moving things forward, but it must be a balance struck, rather than a destructive, regressive reduction in government investment in the future of our country.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 18, 2009 11:10 AM
    Comment #283226
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- Seven “I“‘s. It puzzles me how you can dare to even think of critizing others about partisan warfare when that is how petty your arguments become.
    You said it didn’t mean anything, so what’s the beef now?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You think, that in your cause, you are justified in tearing apart your opponent, of direspecting them terribly.
    No one disrespected you.

    They merely critiqued your comments.
    Nothing more.
    But, on the other hand, if someone attacks the messenger, such as calling them a “cry baby” or writing something like, don’t be be such a cry baby, that would be a personal attack, and that would be against the rules.
    See the difference?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But then you talk about how horrible partisan warfare is.
    It is. But it is only a symptom of a deeper problem. Just like the over use of “I“s and “me“s indicates something deeper too.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What is it, exactly, that you’re doing? Fighting a partisan battle, with tons of distracting arguments, and avoiding my main point, which is, surprisingly enough, that we shouldn’t fight such battles merely to score political points, while practical concerns like the state of our economy suffer as a result.
    And how will any problems or reforms come about, and the deterioration stop by repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election rates of 85%-to-90% ?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t really care all that much any more about what you have to say, …
    Then why repeatedly respond with prolific, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook and contradictions?

    Also, you don’t have to read my comments, much less respond to them with more prolific, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t really care all that much any more about what you have to say, because I’ve heard it all before, …
    Right. I forgot …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I see it through the eyes of somebody who knows all about technology and the limitations of design.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t really care all that much any more about what you have to say, because I’ve heard it all before, and you haven’t seen fit to write anything different for the last couple years. You don’t seem to trust people to think for themselves, or to avoid disasters.
    Funny now some people do the very thing they accuse others of.

    People will figure it out (most likely) when failing to do so finally becomes too painful.
    The sooner, the better.
    History repeatedly proves this to be true.
    People have forgotten about the unhappy voters of 1929, 1931, and 1933, who ousted 108, 123, and a whopping 206 members of Congress (respectively).
    On the other hand, some people prefer to fuel and wallow in the petty, circular partisan warfare; which only delays the inevitable solution.
    Some people are so utterly blinded by their own partisan loyalties, they can’t see that THEIR party is not better than the OTHER party.
    They are blind to history, voting records, and corruption in BOTH parties.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think such trust is in short supply, and the first thing to get past is the relentless, needless, overbearing pessimism regarding voters.
    Facts don’t equate to pessimism. Feel free anytime to disprove the facts.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: My sense is that this is the consequence of treating politics like a war. They don’t care so much about legacies as they do about winning the current political battle. It’s not that Republicans are predisposed to being impractical. I think there are plenty of practical Republicans. But the lesson drilled into people’s heads over and over again is that government itself is impractical by its nature. They don’t feel like they’re hurting anything by trying to short circuit matters here, because they think things won’t turn out well anyways.
    As if there’s really any difference.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: That pessimism, though, is part of what got Republicans, as a party, in the bad position they are in.
    And what happened that made the Democrats the OUT-PARTY?

    So far, the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY, and vice-versa.
    So, when will enough voters finally figure out (as they did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933) that it’s time to hold many politicians in BOTH parties accountable?
    Most likely after another 4-to-8 years, when they see the new IN-PARTY and the previous IN-PARTY are still screwin’ most Americans while givin’ themselves more raises every year.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It meant that they felt that improving the quality of government was futile, even counterproductive. So they didn’t make the reforms necessary to prevent corruption. They don’t bother to keep the cronies out, given that their aim is to reduce many of those functions of government to largely ceremonial roles anyway, if any at all.
    And you think the new IN-PARTY will do much (if any) better?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think it’s interesting that the pundits and politicians of the GOP continue to push tax cuts, in spite of their failure to produce fiscal results. No major tax cut, not Reagan’s, not Bush’s, not Dubya’s have resulted in the claimed matching of revenues with spending. And it’s not merely a matter of spending being increased, though that never helps. It’s a matter of the basic premise being flawed.
    BOTH parties are responsible for the current tax system is regressive and unfair (One-Simple-Idea.com/Abuses.htm#Taxes), and neither are likely to fix it any time soon.

    The flaw in the constant fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the partisan warfare is that the OTHER party is mostly to blame.
    The fact is, BOTH parties are always almost equally to blame, and each are always trying to push their own extreme goals.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The response to the deficits among those politicians seems rather cynical : they claim the purpose is to starve the beast- reduce the size of the federal government by using drops in revenue to necessitate spending cuts.
    The response to dealing with debt and deficits from most (if not all) politicians in BOTH parties seriously sucks, and BOTH parties are responsible for it too.

    And the severely bloated federal government does need some major downsizing.
    The federal government is the largest employer in the nation.
    There are more jobs in government than all manufacturing jobs nation-wide.
    That’s ridiculous.
    How any one can defend such bloat is amazing: www.akdart.com/gov1.html

    The debt is near (if not already) untenable: One-Simple-Idea.com/DebtUntenable1.htm

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Of course, this doesn’t happen. Why doesn’t this happen? Because Republicans want to get re-elected.
    That’s funny.

    But Democrats don’t want to get re-elected, eh?

    This is too easy.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Because most people are actually liberal or moderate in their views, and do not have basic ideological objections to additional spending.
    False.

    Here’s a poll by Polling Report (FEB-20-to-22, 2009) which shows considerable concern about debt and inflation (source: www.pollingreport.com/budget.htm):

      Regardless of whether you favor or oppose the economic stimulus bill that Congress passed, do you think it would have been better for the government to spend more money to stimulate the economy, better for the government to spend less money, or is the amount of spending in the bill about right?”
      • Better to Spend More: 14%

      • Better to Spend Less: 41%

      • About Right: 40%

      • Unsure: 1%

      In thinking about the trade-offs between spending government money to improve the economy versus adding considerable amounts of money to the federal debt, which do you think is the greater risk: spending too little to improve the economy or adding too much to the federal debt?”
      • Spending too little: 37%

      • Adding too much to debt: 59%

      • About Right: 4%

      “Regardless of whether you favor or oppose the steps the government has taken in recent months to address economic problems, how worried are you about each of the following: very worried, somewhat worried, not too worried, or not worried at all? How about [see below]?”
        “The amount of money being added to the federal debt”:
      • Very worried: 54%

      • Somewhat worried: 28%

      • Not too worried: 11%

      • Not at all worried: 5%

      • Unsure: 1%

        “The possibility these steps might not work and the economy will get worse”:
      • Very worried: 46%

      • Somewhat worried: 37%

      • Not too worried: 11%

      • Not at all worried: 6%

      • Unsure: 1%

        “The possibility that increased government borrowing could produce inflation”:
      • Very worried: 43%

      • Somewhat worried: 35%

      • Not too worried: 14%

      • Not at all worried: 6%

      • Unsure: 2%

        “The increasing role of the government in the U.S. economy”:
      • Very worried: 34%

      • Somewhat worried: 35%

      • Not too worried: 19%

      • Not at all worried: 10%

      • Unsure: 2%

    So, most people polled seem to be against growing the debt larger.

    Yet, the debt IS growing much larger.
    The $11.5 Trillion federal National Debt per-capita ($37K) is the largest per-capita debt ever, and is 70% larger than the federal National Debt per-capita ($22K in 2008 dollars) in 1945 after World War II.
    The $57 Trillion nation-wide debt has more than quadrupled from 100% of GDP in year 1956 to 411% of GDP in year 2008.

    Yet?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Because most people are actually liberal or moderate in their views, and do not have basic ideological objections to additional spending.

    Yes and no.

    Many know the growing debt and spending can lead to inflation, and possibly hyperinflation, but too many of them are also more concerned about getting their cut.
    So, too many people are guilty of short-sighted selfishness, instead of long-term, enlightened self-interest … at least until it becomes too painful.

    The massive debt and little concern about it is very likely to lead to high inflation, or possibly hyperinflation, which will make the current economic disaster look mild.
    Dozens of other nations have already tried to spend their way to prosperity, and learned the hard way that it doesn’t work.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And even conservatives won’t object too loudly to Congresscritters bringing federal dollars home.
    And Democrats are objecting to pork-barrel and ear marks? With record debt, spending, and pork-barrel?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Focus on Deficits has one purpose, and one purpose alone: stifle liberalism.
    Wow. Thank you for saying that.

    How revealing?
    Only a fool can make a fool of one’s self.
    They don’t need any one else’s help.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Not because Conservativism actually successfully deals with deficits, but because they want to distract people from their present concerns, and drum up fear about debt and national bankruptcy, at a time when the spending might actually do some good.
    Right. The $11.5 Trillion federal National Debt per-capita ($37K), which is the largest per-capita debt ever, and is 70% larger than the federal National Debt per-capita ($22K in 2008 dollars) in 1945 after World War II, is mere fear-mongering, eh?

    And the $57 Trillion nation-wide debt, which has more than quadrupled from 100% of GDP in year 1956 to 411% of GDP in year 2008, is mere fear-mongering, eh?

    As for trying to distract people from their present concerns, that’s really funny coming from some one who constantly fuels and wallows in the partisan-warfare.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I know Republicans and Conservatives treat spending like a dirty word, but they did it too, and much more ineffectively. Ineffective spending, spending that isn’t matched by raised taxes, is what makes government inefficient, what makes it run deficits.
    So two wrongs make a right, eh?

    Do you have any idea how childish saying “but they did it too” is?
    And you think spending is more responsible now?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The government spent a lot on physics research, on miniaturization, on space exploration. It created the initial internet, and the World Wide Web we now enjoy is a product of Europe’s government funded enterprise, CERN. Let’s see where we’d be fiscally, if it weren’t for the efficiencies and opportunities created by the internet. Let’s see where GPS would be, if the Government hadn’t launched those taxpayer funded satellites. And where would the modern computing industry be without the drive to miniaturize electronics, the development of materials, and other benefits of the space program?
    The government did not create the internet: www.seattlepi.com/business/nett20.shtml

    And neither did Al Gore.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The conservatives have theories about how government spending is bad for the economy. We have facts about how it’s been of benefit.
    Conservatives this, conservatives that, blah, blah, blah.

    Nothin’ like blindly fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the petty partisan warfare, while always ignoring the equal incompetence, ignorance, arrogance, irresponsibility, and corruption in one’s own party, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If we get healthcare costs under control, government funded healthcare like Medicare and Medicaid will be less of a problem for future budgets. If we don’t spend what’s necessary to deal with it, the system will remain largely inefficient.
    A lot of spending is not needed to make health care more affordable.

    What is simply needed is to create a non-profit national health insurance system where all are eligible to voluntarily participate by paying a monthly payment for the service.
    Elimination of the profit and massive paper work will make everything much more affordable.
    Of course, the health insurance companies will hate this.
    If a national health insurance system consists of a collection of for-profit insurance companies, then nothing will improve, and will very likely get worse.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If we get energy costs under control, that means greater efficiency for economic activity in general.
    We’re not even close to it. We still have serious energy vulnerabilities. Few people have a problem with seeking more real energy independence. But with so much corruption, there will be no results from the spending if the recipients are not held accountable for producing results.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If we improve the quality of our grid, upgrade it with current technology, we’ll be better able to take advantage of energy sources which will never run out.
    Again, few people have a problem with these things. These are important and urgent goals. But a LOT of money is being wasted on less important things, which you call …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n-I don’t see porkbarrel there, little projects just meant to appeal to a base back home.
    Never mind the following in the Feb-2009 Stimulus BILL:
    • $650 million for digital-TV coupons; $90 million to educate “vulnerable populations”;
    • $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts;
    • $150 million for the Smithsonian;
    • $34 million to renovate the Department of Commerce headquarters; is this the department that wants to end e-Verify?
    • $44 million for repairs to Department of Agriculture headquarters;;
    • $350 million for Agriculture Department computers;
    • $1 billion for the Census Bureau; will that include 12-to-20+ illegal aliens?
    • $850 million for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years;
    • $1.7 billion for the National Park System;
    • $55 million for Historic Preservation Fund;
    • $7.6 billion for “rural community advancement programs”;
    • $150 million for agricultural-commodity purchases;
    • $400 million for hybrid cars for state and local governments;
    • $8 billion for innovative-technology loan-guarantee program;
    • $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects;
    • $54 Billion for federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as “ineffective” or unable to pass basic financial audits (e.g. the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the 10 federal job training programs, and many more).
    • $87 million for a polar icebreaking ship;
    • Commerce, Justice, Science (www.cagw.org/site/DocServer/House_Comm__Justice__Sci.pdf?docID=3101)
      • 1,123 projects at a cost of $409.8 million. The top five porkers are CJS Appropriations Subcommittee member Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) with $9.95 million; CJS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Alan Mollohan (D-WV) with $9.7 million; CJS Appropriations Subcommittee member C.A “Dutch” Ruppersberger (D-MD); with $8 million; CJS Appropriations Subcommittee member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) with $7.9 million and House appropriator Ralph Regula (R-OH) with $7.7 million. The following are among the most egregious examples of pork-barreling in this House version of the Fiscal 2009 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Act:
      • $1,350,000 for planetarium costs: $900,000 by House appropriator Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL), and Reps. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) and Danny Davis (D-IL) for planetarium equipment; $250,000 by House appropriator Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) for the Lakeview Museum Planetarium; and $200,000 by CJS Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) for the County College of Morris Planetarium.
      • $700,000 by House appropriator John Olver (D-Mass.) for a large millimeter telescope at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. According to its website : “The Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) Project is the joint effort of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica, y Electrónica in Mexico. The LMT is a 50m diameter millimeter-wave telescope designed for principal operation at wavelengths between 1mm and 4mm.” The
      • telescope is atop Sierra Negra, a volcanic peak in the state of Puebla, Mexico. The project has received $18.9 million in pork since 2000.
      • $400,000 by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) for horseshoe crab research at Virginia Tech. According to a March 28, 2008 Richmond Times Dispatch article, “The horseshoe crab’s blood is useful in intravenous medications and has cancer-fighting properties.” This is another case of corporate welfare. Corporations that need the research should pay for it themselves.
      • $200,000 by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) for research at the American Museum of Natural History to advance environmental literacy through public education in New York.
      The Senate version of the Fiscal 2009 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Act (www.cagw.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=11580)
        This BILL contained 287 projects for a total of $167.2 million. The top porkers in the bill are Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) with $27.4 million; Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) with $23.6 million; Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd (D-WV) with $18.9 million; Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Robert Bennett (R-Utah) with $16 million; and Senate Appropriations Committee member Larry Craig (R-ID) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) squeezing out $10.6 million each. The following are examples of pork added to the bill:
      • $4,841,000 by 19 senators for wood utilization research in Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, and West Virginia. This research has cost taxpayers $95.6 million since 1985.
      • $1,117,000 by Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Robert Bennett (R-Utah) for Mormon crickets.
      • $300,000 by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) for shrimp aquaculture. Since 1985, $69 million has been appropriated for this research.
      • $270,000 by Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT) and Jon Tester (D-MT) for the Montana Sheep Institute. This organization has received $3.1 million in pork since 2002.
      • $259,000 by Senate Appropriations Committee member Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) for floriculture. According to a September 13, 2007, Star Bulletin article Hawaii’s floriculture and nursery products grossed $100.7 million in 2006. Since 1995, $4.1 million (or more) in pork has gone for this research.
      • $237,000 by Senate Appropriations Committee member Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) for the Wine Grape Foundation Block at Washington State University. Wine in the state is a $3 billion industry. Why can’t it fund its own research?
      • $184,000 by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) for Lowbush Wild Blueberry research. Since 1995, $3.2 million in pork has gone for this research.
    • Commerce, Justice, Science (www.cagw.org/site/DocServer/Senate_Commerce_09.pdf?docID=3161)
      • The Senate version of the Fiscal 2009 Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations Act contained 574 projects for a total of $436.5 million in this 2009’s Senate BILL. The top five porkers are Senate CJS Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AK) with $72.9 million; Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS) with $52.4 million; Senate CJS Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) with $48.7 million; Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) with $41.2 million and Senate appropriator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) with $32.1 million. The following are examples that pork-loving members added to the bill:
      • $24.6 million for two projects by Senate CJS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Sens. Jim Cardin (D-Md.), Jim Webb (D-Va.), and John Warner (R-Va.), to aid watermen in the Chesapeake Bay with new work opportunities, and to restore oyster habitat and plant disease free oysters in scientifically selected sites throughout the Chesapeake Bay;
      • $4.9 million for nine projects for the Marshall Space and Flight Center in Huntsville, by Senate CJS Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.);
      • $750,000 by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for the University of Louisville to research factors that hinder the wound healing process;
      • $450,000 by Senator David Vitter (R-La.) to eliminate public corruption and reduce white collar crime;
      • $400,000 by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for copper wire theft prevention in Las Vegas; and,
      • $100,000 for the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation by Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) to provide economic relief to Maine lobstermen.

    Defense:

    • Energy & Water (www.cagw.org/site/DocServer/House_Energy.pdf?docID=3122)
      • 655 projects at a cost of $821 million. The top five porkers for Energy and Water are Rep. Stephanie Herseth (D-S.D.) with $32.3 million; Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) with $28.5 million; House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) with $27.62 million; House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member David Hobson (R-Ohio) with $27.6 million; and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) with $25 million. Like so many other appropriations bills, the Energy and Water Development Act is awash in wasteful spending. Here are some outrageous examples of pork in the BILL:
      • $5 million by House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee member Mike Simpson (R-ID) for construction in rural Idaho.
      • $1.35 million by House appropriator Ralph Regula (R-OH) for the Rolls Royce solid oxide fuel systems development.
      • $600,000 by House Energy and Water Appropriation Subcommittee member John Olver (D-MA) for the Wisdom Way Solar Village. The village has already received $1.89 million in loans from the state of Massachusetts. The project will consist of 20 homes with 11 of the homes sold to people of low income; 7 homes will be sold to people of moderate income; and 2 are for individuals with disabilities. The combined state and federal subsidy comes out to $124,500 per home, which is not smart for the taxpayers.
      • $210,000 by House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Ed Pastor (D-AZ) for the Native American Affairs Program and the Sid Yates Scholarship Program, under the heading of “Water and Related Resources.”
    • Financial Services (www.cagw.org/site/DocServer/House_Financial_Services.pdf?docID=3103)
      • In the House version of the Fiscal 2009 Financial Services Appropriations Act, there were 197 projects for a total of $57 million in the bill. That represents an increase of 45% above the 136 projects and an 84% increase above the dollar amount of $31 million contained in the fiscal 2008 House version of the financial services BILL. The following are among the most egregious examples of pork-barreling in the BILL:
      • $17.5 million by Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) for renovations at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library.
      • $1.3 million by House appropriator Harold “Hal” Rogers (R-KY) for the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws.
      • $300,000 by House Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee member Dennis Rehberg (R-Mont.) for the Montana World Trade Center (MWTC). The organization’s website says that it can “help your business realize international sales and expansion goals that would otherwise be unattainable.” One MWTC grantee, the Missoula Children’s Theatre, makes “overseas forays every year, visiting U.S. military bases and international schools, where they help students put together full-fledged theatrical productions.” Companies can join the MWTC for a measly $300 per year but taxpayers have to pony up $300,000.
      • $250,000 by House appropriator Marion Berry (D-AR) for the Arkansas Commercial Driver Training Institute at Arkansas State University.
      • $200,000 by Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) for the Beaver Street Enterprise Center (BSE). According to its website, BSE helps new businesses, home-based businesses, and “if your business is established and you want to expand; if you would benefit from an affordable, professional workplace; or if you are ready for mentoring from top community business leaders.” BSE supporters include Bank of America and Wachovia Bank.
      • $100,000 by House Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee member James Moran (D-Va.) for the Georgetown Metro Connection.
    • Homeland Security (www.cagw.org/site/DocServer/House_DHS.pdf?docID=3102)
      • The House version of the Fiscal 2009 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act contained 102 projects for a total of $120.1 million in this year’s House DHS BILL. The top 6 porkers are Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) with $15 million; Harold “Hal” Rogers (R-KY) with $13.4 million; and Robert Aderholt (R-AK), John Culberson (R-TX), Peter King (R-NY), and David Price (D-NC) with $6 million each. The following are some examples of pork that members of the House added to the Homeland Security BILL:
      • $24.9 million for 51 projects for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Predisaster Mitigation by 56 members, spread among 26 states.
      • $22.1 million for 33 projects for FEMA State and Local Programs by 35 members, spread among 19 states.
      • $11 million by House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) for the National Institute for Hometown Security (NIHS). According to the Institute’s website, “NIHS is a private, non-profit 501 (c)3 corporation. NIHS was organized in 2004 through the leadership of Kentucky 5th District Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers. Congressman Rogers suggested organizing the higher education institutions of Kentucky to more effectively compete for research funds and projects aimed at improving homeland security. The Kentucky Homeland Security University Consortium resulted from his efforts. NIHS is the administrative manager for the Consortium.”
      • $5 million by House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman David Price (D-NC) for a study on the impact of climate on future disasters in the state of North Carolina.
      • $250,000 by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) for a perimeter security and noise abatement study at the James J. Rowley Training Center in Maryland.
    • Homeland Security (www.cagw.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=11562)
      • The Senate version of the Fiscal 2009 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act contains 17 projects for a total of $133 million. 92% of the total appropriated funds, or nearly $123 million, went to members of the Subcommittee. The following are some examples of pork that senators added to the Homeland Security BILL:
      • $39.7 million for the Advanced Training Center, which trains border agents, by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), although the Bush Administration has not requested funding to expand the center. Sen. Byrd requested and received the same amount for the project in fiscal year 2008.
      • $27 million by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) for the Southeast Region Research Initiative in Tennessee. The website for this program has no white papers or reports of their research available, only project descriptions.
      • $22.3 million by Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) for the National Center for Critical Information Processing and Storage in Mississippi, which “seeks to consolidate and safely store information critical to the operations of the federal government.”
      • $4.5 million by Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) for the 2010 Olympics Coordination Center in Bellingham, Washington. According to Sen. Murray’s website, the Center “would allow federal, state, and local officials to meet, prepare and coordinate a response to any incident from one location.” Although the Olympics will be held in Vancouver, Canada, “the Center would only be twenty-three miles away from the Canadian border, as opposed to 110 miles to Seattle or 155 miles to the Washington State Military Department.”
    • Interior (www.cagw.org/site/DocServer/House_Interior.pdf?docID=3104)
      • The House version of the Fiscal 2009 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act contained 247 projects, costing taxpayers $134.9 million. Here are a few examples of wasteful spending that members of the House added into to the Interior and Environment Appropriations Act:
      • $4.2 million for seven projects by House Interior Subcommittee Chairman Norm Dicks (D-WA), including: $500,000 for the city of University Place for sewer infrastructure; $270,000 for a Hood Canal Dissolved Oxygen Study; and $200,000 for Mason County Courthouse restoration.
      • $1 million by House Interior Subcommittee member Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) for the Inter-Tribal Bison Cooperative. According to the National Bison Association, there are an estimated 20,000 bison remaining on public lands in the U.S. and Canada.
      • $500,000 by House Interior Subcommittee member Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) for methamphetamine prevention in the Mark Twain National Forest.
      • $350,000 by Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), for the River Raisin Revolutionary War Battlefield. This battle took place in 1813, long after the Revolutionary War ended.
      • $150,000 by House appropriator Michael Simpson (R-Idaho) for the Rexburg Historic Westwood Theater. The theater’s website notes it was “Opened in 1917 as the Rex Theater and through the years had various owners and operators.” Additionally, “Although it is not on the National Register of Historic places, it is near the Madison County Courthouse which is on the Register.”
      • $150,000 by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) for the Historic Mishler Theatre in Altoona, where the Holy Smoke Blues will be playing on August 15. Their performance will be preceded by a group of taxpayers singing the blues over the proliferation of pork in Washington.
    • Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education (www.cagw.org/site/DocServer/House_LHHS.pdf?docID=3121)
      • The House version of the Fiscal 2009 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act contained 1,370 earmarks worth a staggering $618.8 million of taxpayer money. This represents a 5% increase in number of projects, but a huge 122% increase in dollar amounts over the FY 2008 version, which had 1,305 earmarks costing $277.9 million. The top 3 porkers are as follows: Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), $168.5 million; Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), $161.3 million; and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD), $148.5. The Labor/HHS bill is loaded with pork projects and wasteful spending from both Democrats and Republicans. A few examples are as follows.
      • $25 million by 30 House members (including the top three porkers in the bill) for the National Writing Project. The Department of Education (DoE) did not request the earmarked funds, since $3 billion already exists to improve the writing skills of professionally trained teachers. The program is described on the DoE website as a “sole source, noncompetitive award, by direction of Congress.”
      • $175,000 by House appropriator Adam Schiff (D-Ca.), Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), and Mary Bono (R-CA) for the Autry National Center for the American West, which “explores the experiences and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West,” according to its website.
      • $150,000 by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) for the American Ballet Theatre in New York for “educational activities.” According to its website, “As of May 2008, over 65 donors have contributed a total of $28 million during the campaign’s private drive.”
      • $100,000 by House appropriator Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) for the Toledo GROWS High School Garden Learning Initiative, a “community gardening outreach program.” According to their website, “Community gardens are safe, beautiful outdoor spaces on public or private lands, where neighbors meet to grow and care for vegetables, flowers and native plant species. The gardeners take initiative and responsibility for organizing, maintaining and managing the garden area.”

    Legislative Branch:

    • Military Construction (www.cagw.org/site/DocServer/House_Mil_Con.pdf?docID=3105)
      • The House version of the Fiscal 2009 Military Construction Appropriations Act contains 102 projects for a total of $621.3 million. The enacted version of the fiscal 2008 Military Construction Appropriations Act included 191 projects worth $1.2 billion. The House bill is bursting at the seams with wasteful pet projects:
      • $18.4 million added by House Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Tex.), including $17.5 million for a chapel and education center at Fort Hood.
      • $11.58 million for a fitness center in Kingsville, Texas, added by Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-Tex.). There is a private gym four miles away that costs $30 per month, with a $35 initiation fee. This $11.58 million could pay for the gym memberships of 29,300 service men and women for one year.
      • $9.9 million added by Rep. John Spratt, Jr. (D-S.C.) for a physical fitness center at Shaw Air Force Base. There is a gym four miles away that charges $25 per month, with a $75 down payment. This $9.9 million could pay for the gym memberships of 26,400 service men and women for one year.
      • $6.8 million added by Rep. Terry Everett (R-Ala.) for a chapel center at Fort Rucker, Alabama, which already has two separate chapels on its campus.
      • $3.9 million added by Reps. Robert Scott (D-Va.) and Robert Wittman (R-Va.) for a vehicle paint facility at Fort Eustis, Virginia.

    Transportation/Housing and Urban Development:

    • The Senate version of the Fiscal 2009 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Act (www.cagw.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=11570).
      • There are 601 projects for a total of $906.2 million in this 2009 Senate BILL. The dollar amount of the most notorious depository of pork in THUD, the Economic Development Initiative program, decreased 16.2% from $123.5 million in the fiscal 2008 version of the Senate bill to $103.5 million for fiscal 2009. The top 5 porkers are Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee member Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) with $85.4 million; Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) with $83.9 million; Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) with $56.3 million; Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd (D-WV) with $51.4 million; and Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS) with $51.1 million. The following are examples of pork added to the BILL:
      • $1,000,000 by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) for the development of a pedestrian bridge in Poughkeepsie.
      • $700,000 by Sens. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) for waterproofing activities in basement-level storage areas at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Considered to be one of the dozen greatest art museums in the country, the Wadsworth Atheneum reported a fund balance of $106 million at the end of 2006.
      • $500,000 by Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee member Robert Bennett (R-UT) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) for a parking facility in Provo.
      • $200,000 by Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and John Kerry (D-MA) for renovation of the Berkshire Theatre Festival’s facilities and grounds. In June, 2008 the theatre received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for its production of Waiting for Godot. How apt, when fiscal discipline in Congress has become as elusive as Godot.

    Again, that (above) is only the tip of the massive pork-barrel iceberg, among tens of thousands of earmarks costing tens or hundreds of billions per year.

    Yet, you characterize it as follows …

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n-I don’t see porkbarrel there, little projects just meant to appeal to a base back home.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republican’s approach to fiscal matters is not moderate, not productive, not even all that effective.
    And the Democrats are much (if any) better?

    That list above is better?
    A $1.8 Trillion deficit for 2009 is better?
    A $1.2 Trillion deficit for 2010 is better?
    A $850 Billion deficit for 2011 is better?
    A $580 Billion deficit for 2012 is better?
    A $520 Billion deficit for 2013 is better?
    A $580 Billion deficit for 2014 is better?
    A $600 Billion deficit for 2015 is better?
    And those are probably under-estimated: online.wsj.com/article/SB123564748462081261.html#project%3DOBAMABUDGET09%26articleTabs%3Dinteractive

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Look at their budget proposals, at their 300 billion dollar a year tax cuts. Their approach to Democrat’s proposals, though, is that of a beancounter wanting to frustrate his opposition with deaths of a thousand cuts, all with the war cry “We can’t afford it!”
    We don’t need tax cuts or more taxes.

    We need fair taxation first.
    A person making $60K per year (gross) is paying about 30% in total federal taxes.
    A person making millions per year is paying as low as 17% in total federal taxes.
    Warren Buffet paid 17.7% in total federal taxes on $46 Million in year 2006.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: In truth, what we cannot afford to do is let things remain as they are.
    True.

    And repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election will bring change for the worse.
    And more deterioration will finally bring about reforms.
    But not likely without some more pain and misery first to provide the much needed motivation for enough voters to start holding politicians accountable, which ain’t gonna happen by repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.
    What we need is a repeat of 1929, 1931, and 1933, when unhappy voters oused hundreds of Congress persons.
    That’s the only thing that will get their attention and truly hold them accountable.
    They’re too corrupt and arrogant now.
    The automatic annual raises (10 in the last 12 years) and $93,000 per Congress person for petty cash and expenses alone (and this too: One-Simple-Idea.com/Links1.htm ) is ample proof.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If we had not been so future-oriented in the past, creating the first national network, jump-starting improvements in the size, speed, and power requirements of electronics, funding research into new materials and manufacturing processes, we would not be nearly so strong economically as we were before, and that would mean that we could not afford what we afford now.
    And you credit the government for that? Despite decades of deterioration of infrastructure, and continued abuses: One-Simple-Idea.com/Abuses.htm Have you not noticed the debt (federal and total nation-wide debt).
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: This passivity in the face of the future is what’s holding this country back. I know we will have to strike a necessary balance between keeping the deficit moderated and moving things forward, but it must be a balance struck, rather than a destructive, regressive reduction in government investment in the future of our country.
    The federal government is growing beyond already nightmare proportions.

    So, when is that nanny-state BILL comin’ out that will also wipe our noses and butts for us?
    You seem to have fallen hook, line, and sinker for the myth that we can all live at the expense of everyone else.
    You don’t see ear marks or pork barrel, only “little projects” …

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n-I don’t see porkbarrel there, little projects just meant to appeal to a base back home.

    No amount of circular, obfuscated gobbledygook will change the truth.
    Fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the petty, circular partisan-warfare is not going to move this country forward.
    Makin’ excuses for the current administration and tryin’ to blame everything on the OUT-PARTY won’t work forever.
    The IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY, as too few Americans realize they are simply takin’ turns screwin’ most Americans … at least until that finally becomes too painful.
    And when it finally becomes too painful, voters will hopefully repeat what most unhappy voters did in years 1929, 1931, and 1931 (voting out 108, 123, and 206 Congress persons, respectively).

    P.S. # 1: Were there enough external links in this post?
    P.S. # 2: There were 7I“s in those last 44 lines (0.16 per line) of your last too posts. The rate seems to be falling?

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at June 18, 2009 9:46 PM
    Comment #283292

    Dan-
    I remember who it was who used that crybaby graphic. It was you. Did you not learn the lesson?

    I don’t think you have. I think you still aim your attacks at the person, even if you’re not making direct, confrontational attacks

    Why the repetition of that “prolific…gobbledygook” critique? It seems to be repeated, without explanation, to answer just about any proposition I’ve laid out. You talk of deeper problems. I wasn’t aware when it became necessary to see you as a therapist, or as an English teacher.

    And who is it, who fill pages worth of this website, with nothing more than repetitions of past arguments? Who, among anybody else, persistently republishes the quotations of their rival in the argument?

    Who even goes after that person for their use of pronouns. Who deliberately highlights those terms? Who keeps on misinterpreting a comment that employed a figure of speech to argue for the speaker’s strong general knowledge of science and technology?

    Who feels the need, with every comment to put that person in their place?

    You’re dancing around the rules.

    Facts don’t equate to pessimism. Feel free anytime to disprove the facts.

    Just wait a little while. Republicans are in the process of repeating their mistakes from all those years ago. Of course, maybe you shouldn’t use that example, because it was still In-Party, Out-party. But wouldn’t any party that got in there become entangled in that? Maybe that’s the balance of politics in a Democracy, and that’s just the messiness and complication you have to live with. The Irony is, you’re supporting many of the attitudes that those people were against.

    I wonder how those people who you’re lionizing would react to somebody who treats their legacy as a stain on the nation’s history. But of course, we’re only talking numbers here, not actual policies.

    People will vote in their interests, the trick will be, for you and I both, that it may not be OUR interests they vote for! Oh, how frustrating that is. But as a Democrat, I got use to that. I got used to frustrating results.

    Oh what a pain it is to see such frustration in the wake of such success?

    You can go on and talk about how there’s no difference, but I think that while some similaries join the different administrations together, there are clear discontinuities between the Republican policies, and those that followed and preceded them.

    And what happened that made the Democrats the OUT-PARTY?
    Corruption, in part. The ascendance of the Reagan revolution. The laxness and tiredness of an old guard that was truly old

    But the question you should ask is this: how did the Republicans, in just a decade and a half, managed to lose what it took democrats the better part of four or five decades to be deprived of?

    As bad as Democrats were, the Republicans were worse, and unapologetically so. It’s not an accident that you couldn’t really tell where Congress ended and K-Street began when everything fell apart. Tom DeLay, when he got into office, immediately set to work calling up donors and everything.

    So, when will enough voters finally figure out (as they did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933) that it’s time to hold many politicians in BOTH parties accountable?

    They didn’t hold both parties accountable together. There might have been some Democrats kicked out, but they were replaced by Democrats, and then augmented by even more Democrats. That’s how FDR passed the New Deal.

    How any one can defend such bloat is amazing

    You use bloat and size interchangably. Funny how that loaded language works. That’s your learned helplessness. Let me ask you a question: in those years you listed, what was government’s response like before?

    Well?

    It was virtually identical to what you’ve suggested. That’s what got people kicked out.

    You site the stimulus poll numbers. Read carefully. If you add together those who felt the spending was about right, and those who wanted more, they constitute a majority of 54%. 54% which it is fair and accurate to say, want around eight hundred billion of emergency government spending or more. But even if we didn’t add those groups together, the group “about right” is within the margin of error of those who think we should spend less.

    People are right to be concerned about the debt being added on. But they also, in other polls, have expressed their desire for Obama to fix various problems. You cannot intepret on attitudes towards debt alone an opposition to his policies.

    Even with people concerned about the bill on Healthcare, if you take note, the public option has three quarters support. People are not shy about telling the pollsters that they want Obama in charge, that they trust him more than the insurance companies or the Republicans.

    Debt and spending. That’s all Republicans talk about anymore. And who was it that ultimately stuck us in this position, who oversaw the vast majority of the increase of this debt, who cut taxes and increased spending, without even an emergency to justify it?

    But they dare to talk about it, because that’s all they have to undermine support for things that otherwise people are all out in support of.

    So two wrongs make a right, eh?

    No, I want government efficient, and paid for. But you don’t just hit the brakes on a deficit this large, with this much momentum behind it.

    The government did not create the internet

    Man. And you criticize me for claiming to know something. The government created ARPANet, the “initial internet”. You’ll note that I also credited CERN with the development of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee being the developer.

    Oh, and Al Gore did help to create the internet, and that’s what he said. In your research, did you happen to find out that the “Al Gore invented the internet” thing was a canard?

    What is simply needed is to create a non-profit national health insurance system where all are eligible to voluntarily participate by paying a monthly payment for the service. Elimination of the profit and massive paper work will make everything much more affordable. Of course, the health insurance companies will hate this. If a national health insurance system consists of a collection of for-profit insurance companies, then nothing will improve, and will very likely get worse.

    No, government doesn’t need to spend in order to fund people’s healthcare directly. It simply makes the money out of thin air and pixie dust and sends it out via an army of altruistic volunteers who don’t charge for their services.

    Warren Buffet paid 17.7% in total federal taxes on $46 Million in year 2006.
    You know, he and others are not going for a fair tax. They’re going for progressive taxation. They’re saying, tax us more.

    And maybe its time. You talk about the deterioration of the infrastructure. Just why do you think that happened? And within the last thirty years, more than ever? Has it occured to you that it’s not just such a bizarre coinicidence that we’ve seen our national debt skyrocket, our deficits rise, corruption rise, at the same time that tax liabilities have been cut, that regulation has been cut, that laws protecting consumers have been dulled down?

    You can’t have a tax revolt and repair infrastructure at the same time. You can’t cut a whole lot of taxes and expect decreases in deficits and increases in revenues.

    When folks like you and the Republicans realize that it’s a balancing act, not a race to push every aspect of government to the extremes, then you will understand what you’ve done to this country by making beancounting the primary means of organizing the budget.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 20, 2009 1:40 AM
    Comment #283324
    Stephen Daughety wrote: d.a.n- I remember who it was who used that crybaby graphic. It was you. Did you not learn the lesson? I don’t think you have. I think you still aim your attacks at the person, even if you’re not making direct, confrontational attacks
    Nonsense.

    An example was merely provided to demonstrate the difference between critiquing the message instead of the messenger.
    What part of that did you not understand?
    And why do you remember it after so many years?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Why the repetition of that “prolific…gobbledygook” critique? It seems to be repeated, without explanation, to answer just about any proposition I’ve laid out. You talk of deeper problems. I wasn’t aware when it became necessary to see you as a therapist, or as an English teacher.
    More nonsense.

    But, if the shoe fits.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And who is it, who fill pages worth of this website, with nothing more than repetitions of past arguments? Who, among anybody else, persistently republishes the quotations of their rival in the argument?
    Is that disturbing?

    It would bother me too, to see so many obvious and blatant contradictions in my comments.
    Some people contradict themselves all the time, merely to try to win arguments, but in the end, so many obvious contradictions merely reveals the hypocrisy of their comments.
    But, that’s what debates are about.
    It’s fair game to reveal the numerous contradictions, since it obviously affects the credibility of the comments.
    If that bothers you, then perhaps you should try to adhere to the same, consistent principles, and refrain from resorting to prolific, circular, twisted, obfuscated gobbledygook?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Who even goes after that person for their use of pronouns.
    There’s simply so many of them.

    What does that mean?
    You said it doesn’t mean anything, so what’s the beef?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Who deliberately highlights those terms? Who keeps on misinterpreting a comment that employed a figure of speech to argue for the speaker’s strong general knowledge of science and technology?
    There were no misinterpretation.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I see it through the eyes of somebody who knows all about technology and the limitations of design.
    A wise person knows enough to know that they will never “know all about” anything.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Who feels the need, with every comment to put that person in their place? You’re dancing around the rules.
    Funny how some people do the very thing they accuse do themselves?

    Funny how some people can dish it out, but can’t take it?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’re dancing around the rules.
    Just wait a little while. Republicans are in the process of repeating their mistakes from all those years ago.

    That’s really funny.

    Is that how you think you can get back at me?
    You have obviously mistaken me for someone who gives a $#!+ whether Republicans win or lose more seats in Congress.
    It doesn’t matter to me which party is in Congress, since few (if any) in either party are worth a damn.
    So bash Republicans all you want.
    But why don’t you level some equally deserved criticism at YOUR IN-PARTY too, instead of fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the petty, circular, distracting partisan-warfare?
    Otherwise, it’s no wonder why people say you simply don’t like “anything not-DEMOCRAT”.
    Otherwise, it’s no wonder why people say your comments are partisan motivated.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Of course, maybe you shouldn’t use that example, because it was still In-Party, Out-party. But wouldn’t any party that got in there become entangled in that? Maybe that’s the balance of politics in a Democracy, and that’s just the messiness and complication you have to live with.
    That’s exactly what people mean by “twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledlygook”.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Irony is, you’re supporting many of the attitudes that those people were against.
    False. That’s clearly a lie. Please feel free anytime to list what I support against what any party or politicians support, and then try to continue that lie.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I wonder how those people who you’re lionizing would react to somebody who treats their legacy as a stain on the nation’s history. But of course, we’re only talking numbers here, not actual policies.
    Whose beling lionized (i.e. treating as a celebrity)?

    Whose treating whose legacy as a stain on the nation’s history?
    What in the hell are you talking about?
    Again, that’s exactly what people mean by “twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledlygook”, which makes no sense at all.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: People will vote in their interests, the trick will be, for you and I both, that it may not be OUR interests they vote for! Oh, how frustrating that is. But as a Democrat, I got use to that.
    Yeah, and it really shows here, eh?
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … as I don’t like to hear people get down on my party, …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … because then your [independent/3rd] parties get blamed for sending things in a lousy direction.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: How many people curse the Green party for George W. Bush (43) getting elected?
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans have the choice, which I gladly let them have, of doing scuzzy things so they can make the Democrats look bad …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Being spoilers [independent/3rd party voters] only ensures being fringe…
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I do think voters should ally with Democrats.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I‘ve been rather cross about your tendency to call the new [110th] congress a do-nothing congress … {Why? What did the 110th do-nothing Congress accomplish since 7-NOV-2006 ? And the 111th Congress consists of 86.9% of the 110th Congress.}
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think you’re underestimating the results of this last election. {We’ll see, since 85%-to-90% of incumbent politicians were re-elected.)
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t disdain third parties.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s what Democrats like myself had to do, after all, to take back the majorities and the White House.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats have significantly shifted the balance of power, despite all the barriers the Republicans put in place to keep their power.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: My generation of Democrats prides itself on not being caught blindsided by either the Republicans, or their own side’s problems. The ears [of Democrats] are to the ground, and we’re always, ALWAYS watching. {Always? Then why does the IN-PARTY “always” become the OUT-PARTY?}
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: And yes, I obviously want voters to vote for Democrats. {Really? No kiddin’?}
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote {NEW!, which is ironic indeed}: … why do you uncritically accept partisan rhetoric …?
    Yep, that doesn’t appear the least bit frustrated, does it?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I got used to frustrating results.
    Right (see above).

    But, if it is OK with you, other people such as VOIDnow.org, One-Simple-Idea.com, FOAVC.ORG, RepublicSentry.com, Anti-Incumbents.com, Article-V-Convention.com, GiveBackOurCongress.com, HearMyThunder.org, NoToIncumbents.org, PoliWatch.org, TenureCorrupts.com, etc., etc., etc., have the freedom of speech.

    So, if it is OK with you (and even if it isn’t), others are free to provide information to help voters decide to vote out more FOR-SALE, irresponsible, and corrupt politicians (sooner than later), than that is a very good thing. Voters will most likely eventually do that very thing anyway. The point is, the sooner the better. Eventually, enoug voters will most likely figure it out, because enough pain and misery will eventually provide the much needed motivation (as it did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933 when voters ousted hundreds of incumbent politicians).

    If that leads to the IN-PARTY or the OUT-PARTY to losing seats, that’s just too bad.
    The way things are going, continued pain and misery in the following years, due to continued corruption in BOTH parties, it is quite likely to provide the much needed motivation and education for enough voters to start holding BOTH parties accountable by voting out as many as possible in BOTH parties (as voters did in 1929, 1931, and 1933).

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Oh what a pain it is to see such frustration in the wake of such success?
    What success?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can go on and talk about how there’s no difference, but I think that while some similaries join the different administrations together, there are clear discontinuities between the Republican policies, and those that followed and preceded them.
    The only differences are all bad…
    • Extreme #1: One extreme wants regressive taxation, unfettered capitalism, little (if any) government regulations, and freedom to explore and wallow in every manifestation of unchecked greed.
    • Extreme #2: The other extreme wants a nanny-state with citizens increasingly dependent on the government; with massive cradle-to-grave government programs (which are usually severely mismanaged) that nurture a sense of entitlement and dependency on government; wants to grow government ever larger (despite the already current nightmare proportions); rewards failure and laziness; and perpetuates the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone else.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Corruption, in part.
    But, they’re not corrupt now?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The ascendance of the Reagan revolution.
    Right. It’s the Republicans’ fault.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The laxness and tiredness of an old guard that was truly old.
    First time I’ve heard that excuse.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But the question you should ask is this: how did the Republicans, in just a decade and a half, managed to lose what it took democrats the better part of four or five decades to be deprived of?
    Corruption. What the majority of voters haven’t yet learned is that there is little (if any) difference between the two, aside from the extremes of each, which are both bad.

    But, of course, you want to believe the Democrats are better. Hence, the “disdain for anything not-DEMOCRAT”.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: As bad as Democrats were, the Republicans were worse, and unapologetically so.
    The IN-PARTY is always worse, which is why they always become the OUT-PARTY.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s not an accident that you couldn’t really tell where Congress ended and K-Street began when everything fell apart. Tom DeLay, when he got into office, immediately set to work calling up donors and everything.
    Funny how you constantly only point out corruption of the OTHER party. You don’t like to talk about William Jefferson, John Murtha, or Edward Kennedy and Chappaquiddick, etc.

    The new Congress is just as FOR-SALE, incompetent, irresponsible, and corrupt as the one before it, because the 111th Congress consists of 87% of the 110th Congress.

    For example, Congress recently gave themselves an automatic raise (10th in 12 years), plus $93,000 per Congress person for petty cash and expenses, while U.S. Troops risk life and limb, go without adequate medical care, promised benefits, and have to do 2, 3, 4+ tours in Iraq and Afghganistan. Cha-Ching!

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: They didn’t hold both parties accountable together. There might have been some Democrats kicked out, but they were replaced by Democrats, and then augmented by even more Democrats. That’s how FDR passed the New Deal.
    Winning seats is all that’s important, eh?

    Remember, the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY.
    Funny that you agree that things took a long time to deteriorate, but ignore the fact that Democrats had the vast majority of Congress for all but 14 of the last 78 years.
    Democrats had the vast majority of Congress for the 40 consecutive years between 1955 and 1995.
    And Democrats had the majority in Congress to since year 2006.
    Funny how it is still all the Republicans’ fault.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You use bloat and size interchangably. Funny how that loaded language works.
    False.

    They’re not interchangable, but BOTH are true of the federal government.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: That’s your learned helplessness.
    Funny how some people accuse others of the very thing they do themselves?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Let me ask you a question: in those years you listed, what was government’s response like before? Well?
    Things gradually got better (after 1933). Who knows how bad it would have become had voters continued to reward Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates (as today)?

    Unfortunately, some things got worse.
    That’s the danger of allowing so much deterioration.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It was virtually identical to what you’ve suggested. That’s what got people kicked out.
    Corruption, incompetence, and arrogance got Congress voted out.

    But that hasn’t happened in a long time, because we’ve had 85%-to-90% re-election rates for many years:

    • Start _ End _ Congress _ Re-Election _Party Seat-Retention

    • Year __ Year __ # ______ Rate _______ Rate

    • 1927 __ 1929 __ 070st __ 83.6% ______ 96.4% (87 incumbents ousted: 22(D), 64(R), 1(FL) )

    • 1929 __ 1931 __ 071st __ 79.7% ______ 92.5% (108 incumbents ousted)

    • 1931 __ 1933 __ 072nd __ 76.8% ______ 88.5% (123 incumbents ousted)

    • 1933 __ 1935 __ 073rd __ 61.2% ______ 78.7% (206 of 531 incumbents ousted; 59 Dems, 147 Repubs)

    • … … … … … … . .

    • 1989 __ 1991 __ 101st __ 90.1% ______ 99.6%

    • 1991 __ 1993 __ 102nd __ 87.7% ______ 98.3%

    • 1993 __ 1995 __ 103rd __ 73.5% ______ 98.1% (142 of 535 incumbents ousted)

    • 1995 __ 1997 __ 104th __ 79.8% ______ 88.2%

    • 1997 __ 1999 __ 105th __ 77.4% ______ 98.7%

    • 1999 __ 2001 __ 106th __ 89.2% ______ 99.3%

    • 2001 __ 2003 __ 107th __ 89.2% ______ 98.7%

    • 2003 __ 2005 __ 108th __ 87.9% ______ 98.1% (65 of 535 voted out)

    • 2005 __ 2007 __ 109th __ 88.6% ______ 98.7% (61 of 535 voted out)

    • 2007 __ 2009 __ 110th __ 84.9% ______ 93.1% (81 of 535 incumbents voted out (68=16(D)+51(R)+1(I) in the House) + (13=3(D)+9(R)+1(I) in the Senate)

    • 2009 __ 2011 __ 111th __ 86.9% ______ 94.0% (70 of 535 voted out (57=13(D)+44(R) in the House) + (13=3(D)+10(R) in the Senate); a few seats left To Be Determined (TBD))

    So, if you’re trying to compare the 2008 election (86.9% re-election rates) with the 1933 (61.2% re-election rates), then you’re way off.

    You want so badly to think your beloved DEMOCRATs sweeped Congress in 2008, but the lead is still relatively small and the swing is miniscule to 1933.
    Besides, the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You site the stimulus poll numbers. Read carefully. If you add together those who felt the spending was about right, and those who wanted more, they constitute a majority of 54%. 54% which it is fair and accurate to say, want around eight hundred billion of emergency government spending or more. But even if we didn’t add those groups together, the group “about right” is within the margin of error of those who think we should spend less.
    False. Perhaps you should consider some remedial math?

    What you fail to recognize is that most voters want more spending while they simultaneously believe it is bad.
    They want their cake and eat it too.
    There will be painful consequences for the voters’ own irresponsibility.

    The poll by Polling Report (FEB-20-to-22, 2009) shows considerable concern about debt and inflation (source: www.pollingreport.com/budget.htm):

      Regardless of whether you favor or oppose the economic stimulus bill that Congress passed, do you think it would have been better for the government to spend more money to stimulate the economy, better for the government to spend less money, or is the amount of spending in the bill about right?”
      • Better to Spend More: 14%

      • Better to Spend Less: 41%

      • About Right: 40%

      • Unsure: 1%

      In thinking about the trade-offs between spending government money to improve the economy versus adding considerable amounts of money to the federal debt, which do you think is the greater risk: spending too little to improve the economy or adding too much to the federal debt?”
      • Spending too little: 37%

      • Adding too much to debt: 59%

      • About Right: 4%

      “Regardless of whether you favor or oppose the steps the government has taken in recent months to address economic problems, how worried are you about each of the following: very worried, somewhat worried, not too worried, or not worried at all? How about [see below]?”
        “The amount of money being added to the federal debt”:
      • Very worried: 54%

      • Somewhat worried: 28%

      • Not too worried: 11%

      • Not at all worried: 5%

      • Unsure: 1%

        “The possibility these steps might not work and the economy will get worse”:
      • Very worried: 46%

      • Somewhat worried: 37%

      • Not too worried: 11%

      • Not at all worried: 6%

      • Unsure: 1%

        “The possibility that increased government borrowing could produce inflation”:
      • Very worried: 43%

      • Somewhat worried: 35%

      • Not too worried: 14%

      • Not at all worried: 6%

      • Unsure: 2%

        “The increasing role of the government in the U.S. economy”:
      • Very worried: 34%

      • Somewhat worried: 35%

      • Not too worried: 19%

      • Not at all worried: 10%

      • Unsure: 2%
    There was no attempt to hide the facts. Most voters are both worried about debt, but most voters also refuse to see spending less as the solution. It doesn’t make sense. Still, the point is, the poll shows that voters are worried about debt. If voters are worried about debt, they should realize that over-spending is not going to make the debt smaller. The problem is ignorance and short-term selfishness, and a lack of long-term, enlightened self-interest.

    But, once again, that was a good attempt to use prolific, twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook merely to try to win an argument, no matter how foolish that argument appears.

    Yet, the debt IS growing much larger.
    The $11.5 Trillion federal National Debt per-capita ($37K) is the largest per-capita debt ever, and is 70% larger than the federal National Debt per-capita ($22K in 2008 dollars) in 1945 after World War II.
    The $57 Trillion nation-wide debt has more than quadrupled from 100% of GDP in year 1956 to 411% of GDP in year 2008.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: People are right to be concerned about the debt being added on. But they also, in other polls, have expressed their desire for Obama to fix various problems. You cannot intepret on attitudes towards debt alone an opposition to his policies.
    Voters can’t both want less debt and more spending.

    That is, except in the land of twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook, perhap?
    The voters are culpable too, and they will reap what they sow.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Even with people concerned about the bill on Healthcare, if you take note, the public option has three quarters support. People are not shy about telling the pollsters that they want Obama in charge, that they trust him more than the insurance companies or the Republicans.
    Well, fortunately, it ain’t all up to Obama, and he won’t be in office 3.5 to 7.5 years from now.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Debt and spending. That’s all Republicans talk about anymore.
    I’m not Republican and the Republicans have no credibility on the subject.

    But that does not mean debt is not a problem.
    It would help if the blind partisan loyalists could look beyond their petty partisan squabbles and realize there is a HUGE debt problem.
    And the debt is not going to get smaller with such rampant spending and failed bail-outs.

    The debt is not going to get smaller with budgets like this for the next 6 years…
    A $1.8 Trillion deficit for 2009 is better?
    A $1.2 Trillion deficit for 2010 is better?
    A $850 Billion deficit for 2011 is better?
    A $580 Billion deficit for 2012 is better?
    A $520 Billion deficit for 2013 is better?
    A $580 Billion deficit for 2014 is better?
    A $600 Billion deficit for 2015 is better?
    And those are probably under-estimated: online.wsj.com/article/SB123564748462081261.html#project%3DOBAMABUDGET09%26articleTabs%3Dinteractive

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And who was it that ultimately stuck us in this position, who oversaw the vast majority of the increase of this debt, who cut taxes and increased spending, without even an emergency to justify it?
    BOTH Democrats and Republicans.

    However, this administration is setting new records, and attempting to blame it all on the previous administration.
    That won’t fool many for long.
    Especially when increasing numbers are bankrupt, deep into debt, jobless, homeless, and hungry.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But they dare to talk about it, because that’s all they have to undermine support for things that otherwise people are all out in support of.
    Can’t you discuss anything without constantly fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the petty, partisan warfare and constantly trying to lay or shift blame.

    It’s asinine, since BOTH parties are responsible for it.
    Funny that you agree that things took a long time to deteriorate, but ignore the fact that Democrats had the vast majority of Congress for all but 14 of the last 78 years.
    Democrats had the vast majority of Congress for the 40 consecutive years between 1955 and 1995.
    And Democrats had the majority in Congress to since year 2006.

    The fact is, BOTH parties are too irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt.
    The evidence of it is over-whelming.
    But blind partisan loyalties blind many to that fact … at least until that becomes to painful, and they finally have to remove their blinders.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: No, I want government efficient, and paid for. But you don’t just hit the brakes on a deficit this large, with this much momentum behind it.
    You do if the alternative is worse, and that’s where it is headed. High Inflation can easily turn into hyperinflation, and there will be inflation in the years to come due to trillions of dollars of new money being pumped into the economy. No nation so deep in debt (especially the biggest debtor nation on the planet in all history) has ever successfully borrowed and spent their way to prosperity. That’s not a Republican mantra (since Republicans also no longer have an credibility when it comes to fiscal responsibility). That’s merely common sense. The $11.5 Trillion national debt per-capita ($37K) has never been larger and is 70% higher than the national debt per-capita ($22K in 2008 inflation adjusted dollars) in year 1945, after World War II. And the $57 Trillion nation-wide debt has more than quadrupled from 100% of GDP in 1956 to 411% of GDP in 2008. Yet, you don’t seem to grasp the seriousness of that? Perhaps math and finance are not your strong suits?

    If the debt is tenable, then why do the following questions remain unanswered …?

    • (1) Is there any historical precedent of any nation (much less the biggest debtor nation on the planet) so deep into debt ever successfully solving a massive debt-bubble with more debt, borrowing, new money, and spending ($11.2 Trillion Fedreal National Debt, and $57 Trillion of total nation-wide debt)?

    • (2) Is there any macro economics model that states that a massive debt-bubble can solved with more debt, borrowing, new money, and spending?

    • (3) Is there any mathematical rationale that demonstrates how any nation so ridiculously deep into debt (much less the biggest debtor nation on the planet) has ever successfully solved a massive debt-bubble with more debt, borrowing, new money, and spending?

    • (4) If the current debt is untenable, how is growing it bigger going to help?

    • (5) Where will the money come from when 90%-to-95% of all money in existence in the U.S. exists as debt, because new money is created as debt at a steep ratio of 9-to-1 of debt-to-reserves.

    • (6) What are the chances that high inflation (or hyperinflation) will make the current situation worse? After all, (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinflation#Examples_of_hyperinflation) 33+ nations have previously tried to borrow, create new money, and spend their way out of a massive debt-bubble, and it not only did not work, but made things worse.

    • (7) What is the debt limit? How can anyone say the debt is untenable if they do not know what the limit is?

    For 52 consecutive years, the federal government has been borrowing the money to merely pay the interest on the National Debt (now over $11.5 Trillion).
    The National Debt is now growing faster than ever, and that is tenable? Do you know how many centuries it would take at only 2.5% interest to merely pay down 33% of the $11.5 Trillion National Debt?
    If the debt is untenable, it doesn’t matter if the polls show people want more government spending, and less debt (simultaneously, which is ridiculous).
    When the dollar becomes worthless, it will be too late for voters to say they want less spending and debt.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
    • d.a.n wrote: The government did not create the internet
    Man. And you criticize me for claiming to know something. The government created ARPANet, the “initial internet”.
    That’s because you wrote …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I see it through the eyes of somebody who knows all about technology and the limitations of design.

    Anyway, ARPANet is not the internet.

    Here’s a fairly good explanation of who created the internet: www.seattlepi.com/business/nett20.shtml
    Read it and weep.
    The internet was created by many people, and many factors, over many years, and no single person can claim credit for it … not the government, and especially not Al Gore.

    Again, like Forrest Gump said, “stupid is as stupid does”.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Oh, and Al Gore did help to create the internet, and that’s what he said. In your research, did you happen to find out that the “Al Gore invented the internet” thing was a canard?
    False.

    Al Gore said on 9-MAR-2009, “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet”.
    That’s false. He makes it sound like he did it all by himself.
    That’s one of the most famous and blatant lies ever, since … well, since his last lie.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: No, government doesn’t need to spend in order to fund people’s healthcare directly. It simply makes the money out of thin air and pixie dust and sends it out via an army of altruistic volunteers who don’t charge for their services.
    If you say so.

    What you fail to understand is that everything the government funds, comes from the tax payers.
    So, an national health insurance system will be funded by the tax payers.
    Exactly what of that did you not understand.
    Surely, you don’t honestly think printing new money is all that is required?
    Surely, no one is really that inept, are they?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You know, he and others are not going for a fair tax.
    Not Warren Buffet, but many others are.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: They’re going for progressive taxation. They’re saying, tax us more.
    Right. Aside from Warren Buffet, please show us who is saying “Tax us more”?

    Progressive taxation is almost as (if not equally) wrong as regressive taxation.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And maybe its time. You talk about the deterioration of the infrastructure. Just why do you think that happened?
    Many abuses, and too much short-sighted selfishness.

    Voters are culpable too.
    And BOTH political parties are culpable too.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And within the last thirty years, more than ever? Has it occured to you that it’s not just such a bizarre coinicidence that we’ve seen our national debt skyrocket, our deficits rise, corruption rise, at the same time that tax liabilities have been cut, that regulation has been cut, that laws protecting consumers have been dulled down?
    HHHHHMMmmmmmmmmmm … and who had control of Congress and spending for the majority of the last 30 years?

    The Democrats have had the vast majority of Congress for all but 14 of the last 78 years.
    Democrats had the vast majority of Congress for the 40 consecutive years between 1955 and 1995.
    So, it’s sort of ridiculous (to say the least) to constantly fuel and wallow in the blind partisan warfare and constantly try to shift all blame to the OTHER party.
    Do these inconvenient facts keep gettin’ in your way while trying spin that twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook and fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind partisan warfare?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can’t have a tax revolt and repair infrastructure at the same time. You can’t cut a whole lot of taxes and expect decreases in deficits and increases in revenues.
    False. You have to fix the tax system, so that the middleclass isn’t paying the biggest percentage of their income to federal taxes.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: When folks like you and the Republicans realize that it’s a balancing act, not a race to push every aspect of government to the extremes, then you will understand what you’ve done to this country by making beancounting the primary means of organizing the budget.
    What’s this “folks like you”?

    Again, you conveniently ignore the culpability of BOTH parties and the voters.
    The majority of all Americans are responsible for this mess.
    You can continue to fuel and wallow in the petty partisan warfare, and continue the twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook, but that is truly the sort of crap that is hurting the nation.
    The lazy, blind partisan loyalties are largely the cause of blindly pullin’ the party-lever, and 85%-to-90% re-election rates, despite dismal 11%-to-18% approval ratings for Congress.
    BOTH parties are responsible, despite you continual ignoring which party was in power in Congress for all but 14 of the last 78 years.

    You may think people like me are a thorn in your side, but the truth is, only a fool can make a fool of one’s self.
    The source of frustration is not me, but the difficulty in trying to continually spin the twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook and fuel and wallow in the blind partisan warfare.

    But please continue.
    The pretzel imitations are most entertaining.

    BTW: 12 “I“s in Comment # 283292: www.watchblog.com/democrats/archives/006581.html#283292

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at June 20, 2009 5:36 PM
    Comment #283358
    What part of that not understand? And why do you remember it after so many years?

    Because I remember you getting kicked off the site not long after that. Seemed that was the last straw, and your continued commentary could not be tolerated on that account.

    “Nonsense”, right? You seem to do these stock responses often. You also like to go “False”, or claim that my argument is… well, I don’t need to repeat it, you repeat it well enough for anybody to see.

    You talk descriptively about my comments, generally, without getting into the substance of what they were about.

    You say its fair game to reveal contradictions, but that’s not what you do. You claim them and then move on. You call my arguments twisted, but don’t discuss what’s twisted. You say I’m obfuscating, but what am I actually hiding?

    There’s more to good argumentation than simply making negative declarative statements about your rival’s comments in a self-confident manner.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Of course, maybe you shouldn’t use that example, because it was still In-Party, Out-party. But wouldn’t any party that got in there become entangled in that? Maybe that’s the balance of politics in a Democracy, and that’s just the messiness and complication you have to live with.
    That’s exactly what people mean by “twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledlygook”.

    You mean what you mean.

    In a Democracy, there’s always going to be somebody in favor, and out of it. What do you propose as the solution to that? A benevolent dictatorship? Democracy is meant to take the dilemma of power, that there is always somebody in or out of power, and make it clear that when folks don’t use their power as people like it, they will end up out of power.

    No party can ride into the rescue without gaining some degree of power, and having gained that power, be endangered by corrupting forces. We have seen, in all kinds of countries idealistic movements ride into the rescue, and there not be a single generation pass before they were as bad or worse than the people they replaced.

    That may not be what might happen with an ascendant third party, it might be great. But the possibility remains.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Irony is, you’re supporting many of the attitudes that those people were against.
    False. That’s clearly a lie. Please feel free anytime to list what I support against what any party or politicians support, and then try to continue that lie.

    New Deal Democrats favored massive injections of capital into the economy from the government. They favored much tougher regulations. They favored central economic planning. They were willing to deeply indebt the nation to get it out of a crisis, to a degree much more severe than anything we’re doing right now.

    Is it a lie that you are on record as being strongly against Obama’s spending, Obama’s economic plan, which is not even half as liberal as anything FDR proposed?

    If you object to Obama’s increase in Government (a government you call bloated now), how much would you revile FDR’s incredible expansion of government, which those elections you keep mentioning were a mandate for?

    If you object to Obama’s increase in the Budget to pay for recovery efforts from our current recession, how could you possibly countenance the even more extreme measures FDR took, to tackle the Great Depression?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I wonder how those people who you’re lionizing would react to somebody who treats their legacy as a stain on the nation’s history. But of course, we’re only talking numbers here, not actual policies. Whose beling lionized (i.e. treating as a celebrity)?

    Whose treating whose legacy as a stain on the nation’s history?
    What in the hell are you talking about?


    One definition of lionize

    1: to treat as an object of great interest or importance

    You’re not treating those voters as an object of great interest or importance?

    The fact of the matter is, much of what you oppose and despise in policy is liberalism, and the New Deal was the kind of strong liberalism that created big government (which you despise as bloated), which willingly raised taxes, which you have shouted me down before for even suggesting, and which deeply indebted this country in efforts to get it out of the Great Depression, to relieve folks suffering, to a level of GDP that is considerably greater than what you’ve sited as hair-raising and evil.

    You know, that stain on the nation’s history. You take a very conservative line with your opinions, and denigrate today’s Liberals, even as you appeal to their forefather’s and philosophical progenitor’s overturning of the old order.

    I can be frustrated with the direction people sometimes went, but my response to that frustration was to redouble my efforts to persuade them respectfully. I might get heated with people who seem intent on making it personal with me, but even then, take note: I have still tried to win the argument on rational grounds, still tried to argue, rather than simply state, the flaws in your argument, as I see them.

    It is okay with me that all those groups you mention have free speech. Not much I can do to prevent it! Not much I want to do. I’m a big proponent of open government. I don’t fear like some do what will come of others speaking their mind. Those I disagree with I can confront in debate, or simply leave to be self-evident in their error.

    You go on. You can do what you want without my leave or permission. I can do the same. We’re equals here, as Americans, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Nor would I cut short the kind of competition that is in our nation’s nature as a Democracy. I look at those I argue with not as my enemies, but as fellow Americans. I don’t need to destroy independent organizations, or the Republican party, to further my own interests, as an individual, as an American, and as a Democrat. I am not under the illusion that my party has to win every battle, has to wipe out the competition, destroy everybody else’s interests for America’s interests as a whole to be served.

    We all see only part of things, and see the world through the lens of our own interests and beliefs. My biggest problem with the Republicans as of late is not that they are standing up for their beliefs, but that their beliefs lead them to challenge the notion that America’s political judgment, in the form of elections and persistent expressions of public opinion, should dictate the direction of our government. They seem to want to persist, unaccountable for their past actions, and return to a prominence they earned their fall from.

    I mean, isn’t it time to take the hint, to drop this arrogant presumption that because they think they’re right, that they can impose their will on a people who have categorically rejected them on almost every level?

    You can blast me for being an unapologetic Democrat. Fine. I made that choice, you made yours. You can continue on about IN-PARTY’s and OUT-PARTY’s, which there will always be, even if you succeed. Fine. You need neither my permission nor my leave for that. You can talk about who’s for sale, about what percentages of the Congress are incumbents. Again, it’s a free country.

    But what makes you better than anybody else? With your attacks, your fierce devotion to your cause? I mean, has it occured to you that the bias of a partisan doesn’t need a major party to back it, just an unquestioned political direction?

    And let me talk about William Jefferson. I’m gladd he’s gone. About John Murtha, I hope he is held to account, despite the politics of it. About Edward Kennedy and Chappaquiddick? Well, Ted will never be president, and I’m sure the never-ending stain on his reputation won’t go away. Nor should it. By his actions, somebody died. I don’t believe he killed her. I believe it was a horrible accident. But that should mark him, and he should feel the shame for life.

    If it was just a horrible accident, which most people concur it was, then his political life can go on as people see fit in Massachussetts. the height his elder brother reached and his next older brother’s life was cut short pursuing will simply never be his.

    As for winning seats? Look, mister, I was making the point of what kind of mandate those seats were attained with. FDR was able to pass the New Deal, because people gave him the legislature willing to pass it

    And no, I don’t blame the Republican Party for everything. Democrats have their share of blame. They were the main driving force behind Vietnam, and LBJ’s policy and budget decisions had terrible effects on the country. We made mistakes, and have paid for them dearly, with a decline in our numbers and power. And I accept that this is the way it is supposed to work.

    The Republicans haven’t. That’s demonstrably true. They haven’t come to grips with their errors in Iraq, nor with their own responsiblity for the skyrocketing of the national debt. They simply act as if it were all the Democrats fault, or the fault of people who became too liberal in Congress. But they don’t see fit, really, to change the substance of their policies. They merely trudge on, offering their old ideas under new rhetoric, and not even admitting the fact.

    I think the Republicans need to acknowledge that there is a reason they got into their current state of decline, just as Democrats had to realize why they were where they were.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 21, 2009 9:47 AM
    Comment #283367
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Because I remember you getting kicked off the site not long after that. Seemed that was the last straw, and your continued commentary could not be tolerated on that account.
    False again. I was banned once long after that merely for capitalizing lawnboy as lawnBOY in a discussion over whether the MSM stated that Congress was a “do-nothing” Congress after 7-NOV-2006. Big deal. Congress still seems as irresponsible, incompetent, FOR-SALE, and corrupt as it has been for many decades. That seems to upset some blind partisan loyalists.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: “Nonsense”, right? You seem to do these stock responses often. You also like to go “False”, or claim that my argument is… well, I don’t need to repeat it, you repeat it well enough for anybody to see.
    It is what it is.

    If the shoe fits?
    If it bothers someone, they don’t have to read it, much less repeatedly respond with more prolific, twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledlygook, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You talk descriptively about my comments, generally, without getting into the substance of what they were about.
    Nonsense.

    Some peoples’ arguements are often easily and thoroughly trounced, becasue they are so weak on facts, and often strongly focused on fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the petty partisan warfare.
    Any way, what should we call “twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook” ?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You say its fair game to reveal contradictions, but that’s not what you do.
    False.

    No one else is responsible for your comments.
    Your comments are your comments, and no one else’s.
    Blatant contradicitons of your very own statements are numerous.
    And the circular obfuscations are numerous too (see what others say below).
    It’s not necessary to attack people personally, when their own comments so thoroughly demonstrate the flaws in their arguments.
    That’s possibly what frustrates some people so much … their own comments being revealed for what they really are.
    Some people are upset when they discover that not every one is quite as stupid as they thought, or so easily seduced into wallowin’ in the petty, circular, partisan warfare.
    Perhaps, that is why people write things such as?

    • David R. Remer wrote: Sorry, Stephen D[augherty], … And that means d.a.n’s reference to your comment’s obfuscation, twisting and construction, is valid.

    • Roy Ellis wrote: In spite of all the intellectual dishonesty espoused by those opposing AVC we know we are being denied a Constitutional right. It’s there in black and white.

    • Byron DeLear wrote: Point being: ideas live on; amendment proposals live on — the proof’s right below you if you care to see the historical track record refuting your assertion that legitimate action can only spring forth from currently assembled state legislatures, and from only living and seated legislators. Poppycock.
    • John DeHerrera wrote: Show a law which shows how they are expired—not an opinion, but a law. Until you do that your position is bogus.

    • Bill Walker wrote: The fact is Mr. Daugherty defeats himself in his argument and thus requires no further comment once this hypocrisy is pointed out.
    Are they (Rodney Brown, David R. Remer, Roy Ellis, Byron DeLear, John DeHerrera, and Bill Walker all wrong?

    After all, David R. Remer does not really think Article V is a great idea at this time, but he at least recongizes the meaning of the words and the spirit of the law in Article V.
    There are many people that don’t think it’s a good idea, but agree on the interpretation of Article V.
    Many people have debated many issues with you, and perhaps there’s a reason so many have characterized your comments as “obfuscated”, and strongly “partisan motivated”?
    And also, such comments such as these do not lend credibility to the contrary

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … as I don’t like to hear people get down on my party, …

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … because then your [independent/3rd] parties get blamed for sending things in a lousy direction.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: How many people curse the Green party for George W. Bush (43) getting elected?

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans have the choice, which I gladly let them have, of doing scuzzy things so they can make the Democrats look bad …

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Being spoilers [independent/3rd party voters] only ensures being fringe…

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I do think voters should ally with Democrats.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I‘ve been rather cross about your tendency to call the new [110th] congress a do-nothing congress … {Why? What did the 110th do-nothing Congress accomplish since 7-NOV-2006 ? And the 111th Congress consists of 86.9% of the 110th Congress.}

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think you’re underestimating the results of this last election. {We’ll see, since 85%-to-90% of incumbent politicians were re-elected.)

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t disdain third parties.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s what Democrats like myself had to do, after all, to take back the majorities and the White House.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats have significantly shifted the balance of power, despite all the barriers the Republicans put in place to keep their power.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: My generation of Democrats prides itself on not being caught blindsided by either the Republicans, or their own side’s problems. The ears [of Democrats] are to the ground, and we’re always, ALWAYS watching. {Always? Then why does the IN-PARTY “always” become the OUT-PARTY?}

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: And yes, I obviously want voters to vote for Democrats. {Really? No kiddin’?}

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote {NEW!, which is ironic indeed}: … why do you uncritically accept partisan rhetoric …?

    Right. Nothing partisan about that, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You claim them and then move on. You call my arguments twisted, but don’t discuss what’s twisted.
    False again.

    Many others have also acknowledged the same thing about the twisted, circular, obfuscations (see below what others say).

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You say I’m obfuscating, but what am I actually hiding?
    Your comments are often full of obfuscations.

    Hiding?
    Who knows?
    People have their reasons (some good, some bad, and some hilarious).
    Some people can’t admit when they are wrong.
    Some people are motivated by blind partisan loyalties, and love to fuel and wallow in the blind, circular partisan warfare, rather than ever admit that most (if not all) incumbent politicians in BOTH parties are too irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt (all despite what you your self call “thirty years” deterioration, while conveniently ignoring that the Democrat party has controlled Congress all but 14 of the last 78 years).
    Some people are stubborn, and will go to ridiculous lengths to merely avoid ever admitting a mistake, no matter how silly, twisted, circular, and obfuscated their arguments become.
    Many others agree (especially on your twisted re-interpretations of Article V), which didn’t seem very convincing to these folks either, who characterized it as follows (www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/006553.html#282625)

    • David R. Remer wrote: Sorry, Stephen D[augherty], but your comments fail to reference Article V’s language stipulating concurrent call for convention, which of course, was impossible when the Constitution was drafted. And concurrency being impossible at the time of the drafting of the Constitution, mandates an understanding of the Article as having NO concurrency requirement for calling forth an Article V convention.
      Your not so subtle introduction of the word “together” referring to concurrency of call for convention by 3/4 of the states, is a fabrication which does not exist in the language of the Article.
      And that means d.a.n’s reference to your comment’s obfuscation, twisting and construction, is valid.

    • Roy Ellis wrote: In spite of all the intellectual dishonesty espoused by those opposing AVC we know we are being denied a Constitutional right. It’s there in black and white.

    • Rodney Brown wrote: … He also was a believer in The Founding Fathers and the constitution and today you better believe he’d be fighting for Article V!

    • Byron DeLear wrote: Point being: ideas live on; amendment proposals live on — the proof’s right below you if you care to see the historical track record refuting your assertion that legitimate action can only spring forth from currently assembled state legislatures, and from only living and seated legislators. Poppycock.
      … You [Stephen Daugherty] should help realize this people’s convention; it strengthens the democratic values and engaged electorate that I know we both support.

    • John DeHerrera wrote: The question is whether the applications are valid or not. Show a law which shows how they are expired—not an opinion, but a law. Until you do that your position is bogus.

    • Bill Walker wrote: The fact is Mr. Daugherty defeats himself in his argument and thus requires no further comment once this hypocrisy is pointed out.

    • d.a.n wrote: d.a.n wrote: No amout of twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook will change the truth.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: There’s more to good argumentation than simply making negative declarative statements about your rival’s comments in a self-confident manner.

    Exactly. And in debate, the best way to support an argument is to demonstrate the flaws in the logic of the opposing argument. Numerous contradictions; blind partisan loyalties; twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledlygook; lack of supporting evidence; etc., are all valid and logical methods to invalidate and expose flaws in the opposing arguments.

    If that disturbs someone, then perhaps they should refrain from making such obvious and numerous contradictions; fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the circular partisan warfare; ignoring over-whelming evidence; resorting to prolific, twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook; resorting to name-calling and attacking the messenger; whining about their own frustration with the pitiful weakness of their own doomed and twisted arguments; and then blaming everyone else for all of it. After all, only a fool can make a fool of one’s self.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You mean what you mean.
    See list above. of what other people mean.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: In a Democracy, there’s always going to be somebody in favor, and out of it.
    OK. That’s quite a talent for stating the obvious.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What do you propose as the solution to that? A benevolent dictatorship?
    Gettin’ desperate, eh?

    Funny how some people, when their failing arguments start appearing rather ridiculous, then resort to the abusd, such as implying that a “dictatorship” is what others want?
    Is that the best you can do?
    Yet, some people are then incredulous as to why their comments are labeled as twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democracy is meant to take the dilemma of power, that there is always somebody in or out of power, and make it clear that when folks don’t use their power as people like it, they will end up out of power.
    OK. Again, that’s quite a talent there for stating the obvious.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Irony is, you’re supporting many of the attitudes that those people were against.
    • d.a.n wrote: False. That’s clearly a lie. Please feel free anytime to list what I support against what any party or politicians support, and then try to continue that lie.
    New Deal Democrats favored massive injections of capital into the economy from the government. They favored much tougher regulations. They favored central economic planning. They were willing to deeply indebt the nation to get it out of a crisis, to a degree much more severe than anything we’re doing right now.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Is it a lie that you are on record as being strongly against Obama’s spending, Obama’s economic plan, which is not even half as liberal as anything FDR proposed?
    False.

    The debt and spending today severely dwarfs (in inflation adjusted dollars) anything FDR did with the economy.

    My disdain for more debt and spending does not equate to “you’re supporting many of the attitudes that those [conservatives and/or Republicans] people were against”.

    But, such lies and mischaracterizing others’ attitudes is not at all surprising and simply reveals how desperate some people become when their failing arguments begin to look so ludicrous.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you object to Obama’s increase in Government (a government you call bloated now), how much would you revile FDR’s incredible expansion of government, which those elections you keep mentioning were a mandate for?
    Much of what FDR did was wrong, such as putting Japanese Americans in concentration camps; and confiscating gold; a long-term affair with another woman other than his wife; parking a majority of the Navy in one harbor in Hawaii (that was really bright); etc.

    But the debt and spending today severely dwarfs (in inflation adjusted dollars) anything FDR did; a few little facts you prefer to trivialize and/or totally ignore (or twist and obfuscate).
    There’s going to be a lot of inflation from creating so much new money from thin air, and that could very easily turn into hyperinflation, which will make the Great Depression look mild.
    The U.S. dollar has already been declining quickly for many years against most major currencies.

    Any way, I’m not Republican and there’s no irony, because most politicians in BOTH parties are too irresponsible, incompetent, FOR-SALE, and corrupt.
    So trying to mischaracterize me as supporting Republicans is a dishonest lie, and total unsubstantiated by any proof.
    A disdain for massive debt and spending does not equate to “you’re supporting many of the attitudes that those people were against”.
    In case you failed to notice, a LOT of Americans think there is too much debt.
    The problem is, too few are willing to cut spending, despite the dangers of so much debt.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you object to Obama’s increase in the Budget to pay for recovery efforts from our current recession, how could you possibly countenance the even more extreme measures FDR took, to tackle the Great Depression?
    Who ever said I supported all of FDR’s policies and actions.

    Also, the debt and spending today severely dwarfs (in inflation adjusted dollars) anything FDR did with the economy.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: One definition of lionize: 1: to treat as an object of great interest or importance; You’re not treating those voters as an object of great interest or importance?
    False.

    The voters have the government that the voters elect.
    It’s completely up to the majority of voters.
    What is there about any of that which claims the voters are not important?
    Not sure what the hell you’re talkin’ about, but it appears to be more desperate, prolific, twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook … usually a sure sign of a weak (if not totally absurd) argument.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The fact of the matter is, much of what you oppose and despise in policy is liberalism, and the New Deal was the kind of strong liberalism that created big government (which you despise as bloated), which willingly raised taxes, which you have shouted me down before for even suggesting, and which deeply indebted this country in efforts to get it out of the Great Depression, to relieve folks suffering, to a level of GDP that is considerably greater than what you’ve sited as hair-raising and evil.
    More lies.

    More twisted, circular, obfuscation, and gobbledygook.
    Some parts of the New Deal were good. But FDR’s did other things that weren’t good, such as putting Japanese Americans in concentration camps; and confiscating gold; a long-term affair with another woman other than his wife; parking a majority of the Navy in one harbor in Hawaii (that was really bright), where it as easy to attack; etc.
    And again, the debt and spending today severely dwarfs (in inflation adjusted dollars) anything FDR did.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You know, that stain on the nation’s history. You take a very conservative line with your opinions, and denigrate today’s Liberals, even as you appeal to their forefather’s and philosophical progenitor’s overturning of the old order.
    More lies about my positions.

    Funny how some people, failing to substatiate their own failing and/or ridiculous arguments, then choose to mischaracterize others’?
    As for your positions, there’s no need to mischaracterize them at all, since your own numerous statements (including numerous contradictions) make your positions abundantly obvious.

    My positions are moderate, and numerous different tests over several years prove it, something lefties and righties would know much about, since they BOTH like to fuel and wallow in the blind, circular partisan warfare.
    Here’s the results for me (One-Simple-Idea.com/PoliticalCompass20050625.jpg):
    Economic (Left/Right=Liberal/Conservative) = -2.00
    Social (Up/Down=Libertarian/Authoritarian) = -4.21

    ——————— Populist/Authoritarian/Facism/——————————
    -10-9—8—7—6—5—4—3—2—1—0—1—2—3—4—5—6—7—8—9-10
    10|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|10
    09|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|09
    08|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|08
    07|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|07
    06|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|06
    05|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|05
    04|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|04
    03|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|03
    02|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|02
    01|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|01
    00|Left————————————-+————————————Right|00
    01|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|01
    02|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|02
    03|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|03
    04|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—x—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|04
    05|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|05
    06|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|06
    07|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|07
    08|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|08
    09|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|09
    10|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|10
    -10-9—8—7—6—5—4—3—2—1—0—1—2—3—4—5—6—7—8—9-10
    ——————————- Libertarian/Anarchism———————————
    Where do you land on that grid (www.politicalcompass.org/test)?

    At any rate, you conclusions are wrong again, and unsubstantiated by any facts or evidence; only your flawed opinion, and a lot of twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I can be frustrated with the direction people sometimes went, but my response to that frustration was to redouble my efforts to persuade them respectfully.
    “respectfully”? Like this ?
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n , First, you don’t respect people’s right to have other opinions… .
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n , You‘re wasting your time.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n, … You had better be prepared …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I‘ve tried to do you the respect of not merely flatly contradicting you
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you want to badmouth us …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: You had better come at us with good evidence …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n, … we’ve told you no, we aren’t satisfied with facts you‘ve provided.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: For me, that means putting opinions like yours to the test …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: you‘re trying to win in front of me and everybody else …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Stop flinging rhetoric at me and calling it facts.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can get all patronizing about that, …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Facts, Dan. Facts. Not your opinions, not your conclusions, not your claims, facts. …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: You‘re flinging an ad hominem argument at me …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: You just want people to bow down to your case, as if they should be obligated to think in your terms.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: To be frank with you, you‘re no better than the people you criticize.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Jeez man, if that’s respect, I’d hate to get on your bad side!
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Your attacks on the fact that I do have some party association, have done little to convince me that I should abandon them.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n , Now you‘re trying my patience …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: To be brutally honest, you‘re not telling me much about modern politicians I don’t already know.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I see it through the eyes of somebody who knows all about technology and the limitations of design.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I consider everything I write carefully. My backspace and delete buttons get good workouts before you ever see my prose.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I chose to be like this. However, I don’t like doing things in a way that I know is arbitrary. It offends me. My comments about third parties are valid.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I have a broader definition of what voter education means, I mean just straight forward learning and being told about what the people in congress are doing… . My bias is obvious.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Again, I‘m going to tell you, don’t accuse people of being hypocrites without giving them the chance to demonstrate their behavior.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Stop trying to play political tricks to force your politics down other people’s throats.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It might help you if you considered that people’s dislike of your prose might be your fault rather than theirs.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Why do you persist in trash talking me?
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I would advise you to be one of those people mature enough to realize that they are not the only whose voice and opinion matters, and that other’s votes and other’s views must be considered as well.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … so I’m telling you, leave him out of our discussion. Don’t throw a whole of silly denials my way, just let him be, or I will take this up with the adminstrators.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: So, I’m not all that impressed by somebody simply posting the opinions of their friends and fellow travellers trying to prove me wrong by the fact of their expression of their negative opinions. I’ve been tagged team before.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It amuses me somewhat to see the lengths you go to avoid the admission of what must clear to most other people reading our exchange: your contempt for me, for my disagreement with you
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’ve outlasted many people who thought they could beat me down with personal potshots. I take pride in it, that I stay calm, focused, and able to argue rationally.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I challenge you to show me the respect of arguing point to point, rather than just declaring every argument I make unworthy in pre-emption of ever having a serious discussion about those points.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I have been trying my best not to let my end degenerate as far as yours has.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … as I don’t like to hear people get down on my party, …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … because then your [independent/3rd] parties get blamed for sending things in a lousy direction.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: How many people curse the Green party for George W. Bush (43) getting elected?
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans have the choice, which I gladly let them have, of doing scuzzy things so they can make the Democrats look bad …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Being spoilers [independent/3rd party voters] only ensures being fringe…
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I do think voters should ally with Democrats.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I‘ve been rather cross about your tendency to call the new [110th] congress a do-nothing congress … {Why? What did the 110th do-nothing Congress accomplish since 7-NOV-2006 ? And the 111th Congress consists of 86.9% of the 110th Congress.}
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think you’re underestimating the results of this last election. {We’ll see, since 85%-to-90% of incumbent politicians were re-elected.)
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t disdain third parties.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s what Democrats like myself had to do, after all, to take back the majorities and the White House.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats have significantly shifted the balance of power, despite all the barriers the Republicans put in place to keep their power.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: My generation of Democrats prides itself on not being caught blindsided by either the Republicans, or their own side’s problems. The ears [of Democrats] are to the ground, and we’re always, ALWAYS watching. {Always? Then why does the IN-PARTY “always” become the OUT-PARTY?}
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: And yes, I obviously want voters to vote for Democrats. {Really? No kiddin’?}
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote {NEW!, which is ironic indeed}: … why do you uncritically accept partisan rhetoric …?
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: You seem more concerned about quoting soundbites than presenting evidence to be subject to examination by others.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Quit with the numbers, while you’re at it. They’re just browbeating, …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I might get heated with people who seem intent on making it personal with me, but even then, take note: I have still tried to win the argument on rational grounds, still tried to argue, rather than simply state, the flaws in your argument, as I see them.
    “rational”? Such as above?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It is okay with me that all those groups you mention have free speech. Not much I can do to prevent it! Not much I want to do. I’m a big proponent of open government. I don’t fear like some do what will come of others speaking their mind. Those I disagree with I can confront in debate, or simply leave to be self-evident in their error.
    Yikes! Six “I“s.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You go on. You can do what you want without my leave or permission. I can do the same.
    I, I, I, I, You, you, you, you, …

    How about discussing something other than me or you?

    Funny how some people speak of their disdain for “making it personal” , accuse others of it, and then do that very thing them self, over and over and over?
    Yet another glaring contradiction.
    Yet, some people are incredulous when people point out these glaring contradictions?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: We’re equals here, as Americans, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Nor would I cut short the kind of competition that is in our nation’s nature as a Democracy. I look at those I argue with not as my enemies, but as fellow Americans. I don’t need to destroy independent organizations, or the Republican party, to further my own interests, as an individual, as an American, and as a Democrat. I am not under the illusion that my party has to win every battle, has to wipe out the competition, destroy everybody else’s interests for America’s interests as a whole to be served.
    Right. Your numerous articles and comments say otherwise, which contain numerous glaring contradictions to the contrary.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: We all see only part of things, and see the world through the lens of our own interests and beliefs. My biggest problem with the Republicans as of late is not that they are standing up for their beliefs, but that their beliefs lead them to challenge the notion that America’s political judgment, in the form of elections and persistent expressions of public opinion, should dictate the direction of our government. They seem to want to persist, unaccountable for their past actions, and return to a prominence they earned their fall from.
    And the Democrats haven’t done the same?

    They’re better, right?
    If so, then why does the IN-PARTY always become the OUT-PARTY?

    You state that the has been “thirty years” of deterioration, but you conveniently ignore the fact that the Democrats have had the vast majority of Congress for all but 14 of the last 78 years, and Democrats had the vast majority of Congress for the 40 consecutive years between 1955 and 1995. Such obvious oversights are why your comments are regarded by many as blind partisan loyalty.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I mean, isn’t it time to take the hint, to drop this arrogant presumption that because they think they’re right, that they can impose their will on a people who have categorically rejected them on almost every level?
    Blind partisan loyalties appear to be an addiction for some people.

    It is so powerful, they seem unable to do anything but fuel and wallow in the circular, blind partisan warfare.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can blast me for being an unapologetic Democrat. Fine.
    There’s nothin’ wrong with being a Democrat.

    There is something wrong with rabid, blind partisan loyalties and constant fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind, divisive, circular partisan warfare.
    There’s a difference, which you don’t seem able or willing to acknowledge and/or admit.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I made that choice, you made yours. You can continue on about IN-PARTY’s and OUT-PARTY’s, which there will always be, even if you succeed. Fine.
    My goal is simply to encourage more voters to see the corruption and abuses, the lack of any real differences of any importannce between the two parties, and encourage voters to stop repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt politicians with perpetual re-election.

    Why are you so against the idea of voting out irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians?
    Are you saying there are no corrupt Democrats?
    Can you list 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are not irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, or corrupt?
    Feel free anytime to provide that list, and we’ll then review their voting records (most (if not all) that which are pathetic).

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You need neither my permission nor my leave for that. You can talk about who’s for sale, about what percentages of the Congress are incumbents. Again, it’s a free country.
    Again, that’s quite a talent there for stating the obvious.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But what makes you better than anybody else?
    No one ever said I was better than anybody else. Feel free anytime to provide evidence to the contrary.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: With your attacks, your fierce devotion to your cause?
    Funny how some people accuse others of the very thing they do them self?

    Funny how some people accuse others of the very thing they are a master of?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I mean, has it occured to you that the bias of a partisan doesn’t need a major party to back it, just an unquestioned political direction?
    The difference is one relies on blind partisan loyalties, and incessant fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind partisan warfare, and the other relies on common sense and truth.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And let me talk about William Jefferson. I’m gladd he’s gone. About John Murtha, I hope he is held to account, despite the politics of it. About Edward Kennedy and Chappaquiddick? Well, Ted will never be president, and I’m sure the never-ending stain on his reputation won’t go away. Nor should it. By his actions, somebody died. I don’t believe he killed her. I believe it was a horrible accident. But that should mark him, and he should feel the shame for life.
    Then we are in agreement.

    However, you rarely (if ever) spend time on the corruption in YOUR own party, and your articles are mostly about fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind partisan warfare.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If it was just a horrible accident, which most people concur it was, then his political life can go on as people see fit in Massachussetts. the height his elder brother reached and his next older brother’s life was cut short pursuing will simply never be his.
    You appear to be forgetting a few important details. While Kennedy most likely accidentally drove (drunk) off the bridge, he concealed the incident until the next day and made a lot of truly ridiculous excuses for it the next day.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for winning seats? Look, mister, I was making the point of what kind of mandate those seats were attained with. FDR was able to pass the New Deal, because people gave him the legislature willing to pass it
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And no, I don’t blame the Republican Party for everything.
    Well, it looks that way 95% of the time.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats have their share of blame.
    That’s right. But you seem to believe their is a significant difference, and there really isn’t. The IN-PARTY is always more corrupt, which is why they always become the OUT-PARTY.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: They were the main driving force behind Vietnam, and LBJ’s policy and budget decisions had terrible effects on the country. We made mistakes, and have paid for them dearly, with a decline in our numbers and power. And I accept that this is the way it is supposed to work. The Republicans haven’t. That’s demonstrably true.
    That’s all true, but you still think that YOUR party (on the whole, and over time) is better. They’re not.

    And your own admissions of Vietnam (a major foobar) is only part of the proof that BOTH have ample examples of corruption, incompetence, etc.
    FDR imprisoned Japanese Americans, confiscated gold, and parked most of the Navy in one place in Hawaii.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: They haven’t come to grips with their errors in Iraq, …
    True perhaps. Neither did Democrats for a long time with regard to Vietnam. This all only helps prove there’s no real difference.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: …, nor with their own responsiblity for the skyrocketing of the national debt.
    Well, this new Congress and Administration can blame the following all on previous administrations… A $1.8 Trillion deficit for 2009 is better? A $1.2 Trillion deficit for 2010 is better? A $850 Billion deficit for 2011 is better? A $580 Billion deficit for 2012 is better? A $520 Billion deficit for 2013 is better? A $580 Billion deficit for 2014 is better? A $600 Billion deficit for 2015 is better? And those are probably under-estimated: online.wsj.com/article/SB123564748462081261.html#project%3DOBAMABUDGET09%26articleTabs%3Dinteractive The debt is not going to get smaller with budgets like this for the next 6 years.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: They simply act as if it were all the Democrats fault, or the fault of people who became too liberal in Congress.
    Do you not see how absolutely ridiculous that is?

    So, BOTH think the other is all to blame.
    Did it ever occur to you that BOTH are to blame, and voters are culpable too?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But they don’t see fit, really, to change the substance of their policies. They merely trudge on, offering their old ideas under new rhetoric, and not even admitting the fact.
    That’s because the IN-PARTY is always more corrupt, which is why they become the OUT-PARTY.

    Voters would be wise to not be seduced in to the incessant wallowin’ in the blind partisan warfare.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think the Republicans need to acknowledge that there is a reason they got into their current state of decline, just as Democrats had to realize why they were where they were.
    See. It’s like an addiction for some people.

    They simply can’t help them self.
    Whether it is laziness, fear, greed, pride, envy, anger, intolerance, etc., it is rooted in short-sighted selfishness, instead of long-term, enlightend self-interest.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at June 21, 2009 3:03 PM
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